February 17th, 2019

Paperback pioneer Betty Ballantine dead at 99

By Hillel Italie, The Associated Press on February 13, 2019.

NEW YORK – A pioneer of the modern paperback, Betty Ballantine, has died.

Ballantine died Tuesday at her home in Bearsville, New York, granddaughter Katharyn Ballantine told The Associated Press. She was 99 and had been in declining health.

Ballantine and husband, Ian, were a publishing team who vastly expanded the range and availability of paperbacks and released budget-priced editions of such blockbusters as “The Hobbit” and “Fahrenheit 451.”

The Ballantines published everything from reprints of Mark Twain novels to paperbacks of contemporary bestsellers. They helped established the paperback market for science fiction, Westerns and other genres.

They started out as importers of Penguin paperbacks from England and founded two lasting imprints: Bantam Books and Ballantine Books.

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