Jan 6, 2011
W. Gordon Graham was born ninety some years ago in Scotland. He attended university in Glasgow and after graduation enlisted in the army; he was awarded the Military Cross and Bar for active service in Burma. He started his postwar career as a freelance newspaper correspondent in Bombay writing for, among other publications: Business Week, Chemical Engineering Record, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Glasgow Herald. In 1950 he started augmenting his journalist’s income with part-time work as a College and Trade Traveller for the McGraw-Hill Book Company. Six years later he was appointed their International Sales Manager, based in New York. He subsequently moved to London to run McGraw-Hill’s European and the Middle Eastern book business. In 1974 he left the company to become Chairman and Chief Executive of Butterworths, where he oversaw a tenfold increase in turn over.
He ‘retired’ in 1990, at which time he became the founder-editor of LOGOS, The Professional Journal of the Book World.I recently had the privilege of interviewing Gordon Graham at his home in England. Among other things we spoke about his legendary career, and those qualities he thinks best characterize great publishers.