Editor-in-chief of Alfred A Knopf and chairman of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Sonny Mehta, passed away at 76. Naveen Patnaik, his brother-in-law and Chief Minister of Odisha, took to Twitter to express his grief.
I am deeply grieved by the passing away of my brother in law Sonny Mehta ( Husband of my sister Gita Mehta). He was one of the world's best editors and an extremely civilized person. May his soul rest in peace.
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) December 31, 2019
Mehta studied at the Sanawar School in India and the Sevenoaks School in UK, where he won an open scholarship to Cambridge University, acquiring degrees in History and English Literature, whilst also editing the magazine Granta. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Bard College.
The son of a diplomat, he is credited with starting the Paladin and Picador publishing houses. Mehta has also won Lifetime Achievement Awards for publishing in India, the UK, and the US.
Writers, editors and personalities from the publishing world grieved his death on Twitter.
Deeply distressed to hear of the passing of Sonny Mehta. A truly great editor and a wonderfully warm and compassionate human being. — Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) December 31, 2019
Goodbye Sonny Mehta, one of the gentlest, cleverest, funniest and most brilliant human beings I ever knew. pic.twitter.com/DTgVmL16Ub
— Meru Gokhale (@MeruGokhale) December 31, 2019
A giant was Sonny Mehta. I spent much of my youth dreaming of being published by him. And then it happened, and there he was at last, the literary legend of @AAKnopf, charming, wise, funny, and, above all, dedicated as much as anyone on the planet to protecting writers. RIP https://t.co/2mvC9dVqYM — Anand Giridharadas (@AnandWrites) December 31, 2019
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Updated Date: Dec 31, 2019 12:08:16 IST