Charles Scribner's Sons

American publisher

  • Charles Scribner I
  • Isaac D. Baker
Country of originUnited StatesHeadquarters location153–157 Fifth Avenue, New York City, U.S.DistributionWorldwidePublication typesBooksFiction genresAmerican literatureImprintsMarysue RucciOwner(s)
  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (trade)
  • Cengage Group (reference)

Charles Scribner's Sons, or simply Scribner's or Scribner, is an American publisher based in New York City, known for publishing American authors including Henry James, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kurt Vonnegut, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Stephen King, Robert A. Heinlein, Thomas Wolfe, George Santayana, John Clellon Holmes, Don DeLillo, and Edith Wharton.

The firm published Scribner's Magazine for many years. More recently, several Scribner titles and authors have garnered Pulitzer Prizes, National Book Awards and other merits. In 1978, the company merged with Atheneum and became The Scribner Book Companies. In turn, it merged into Macmillan in 1984.[1]

Simon & Schuster bought Macmillan in 1994.[2] By this point, only the trade book and reference book operations still bore the original family name. After the merger, the Macmillan and Atheneum adult lists were merged into Scribner's and the Scribner's children list was merged into Atheneum.[3][4] The former imprint, now simply "Scribner", was retained by Simon & Schuster, while the reference division has been owned by Gale since 1999. As of 2012[update], Scribner is a division of Simon & Schuster under the title Scribner Publishing Group which also includes the Touchstone Books imprint.[5]

The president of Scribner as of 2017[update] is Susan Moldow (who also held the position of publisher from 1994 to 2012), and the current publisher is Nan Graham.[6]


The firm was founded in 1846 by Charles Scribner I and Isaac D. Baker as "Baker & Scribner." After Baker's death, Scribner bought the remainder of the company and renamed it the "Charles Scribner Company." In 1865, the company made its first venture into magazine publishing with Hours at Home.

In 1870, the Scribners[clarification needed] organized a new firm, Scribner and Company, to publish a magazine entitled Scribner's Monthly. After the death of Charles Scribner I in 1871, his son John Blair Scribner took over as president of the company. His other sons Charles Scribner II and Arthur Hawley Scribner would also join the firm, in 1875 and 1884. They each later served as presidents. When the other partners in the venture sold their stake to the family, the company was renamed Charles Scribner's Sons.

The company launched St. Nicholas Magazine in 1873 with Mary Mapes Dodge as editor and Frank R. Stockton as assistant editor; it became well known as a children's magazine. When the Scribner family sold the magazine company to outside investors in 1881, Scribner's Monthly was renamed the Century Magazine. The Scribners brothers were enjoined from publishing any magazine for a period of five years.

In 1886, at the expiration of this term, they launched Scribner's Magazine. The firm's headquarters were in the Scribner Building, built in 1893, on lower Fifth Avenue at 21st Street, and later in the Charles Scribner's Sons Building, on Fifth Avenue in midtown. Both buildings were designed by Ernest Flagg in a Beaux Arts style.

The children's book division was established in 1934 under the leadership of Alice Dalgliesh. It published works by distinguished authors and illustrators including N.C. Wyeth, Robert A. Heinlein, Marcia Brown, Will James, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and Leo Politi.

Scribner merged with Atheneum in 1978, and then merged into Macmillan in 1984. In 1994, Macmillan was bought by Simon & Schuster. The reference division along with Charles Scribner's Sons name (including the lamp logo) were sold as part of Simon & Schuster's Macmillan Library Reference (MLR) to Pearson in 1998, Pearson resold MLR to Thomson Corporation a year later. Thomson Corporation placed the acquired MLR divisions into Gale.[7][8]

Simon & Schuster reorganized their adult imprints into four divisions in 2012.[5] Scribner became the Scribner Publishing Group and would expand to include Touchstone Books which had previously been part of Free Press.[9] The other divisions are Atria Publishing Group, Simon & Schuster Publishing Group, and the Gallery Publishing Group. The new Scribner division would be led by Susan Moldow as president.[5]

As of 2023[update], the reference division is owned by Cengage Group and the trade division is owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.[10]


Notable authors

Notable authors under Charles Scribner II

Notable authors under Charles Scribner's Sons

Notable authors under Maxwell Perkins and John Hall Wheelock

Notable authors under Simon and Schuster

Simon & Schuster has published thousands of books from thousands of authors. This list represents some of the more notable authors (those who are culturally significant or have had several bestsellers) from Scribner since becoming part of Simon & Schuster. For a more extensive list see List of Simon & Schuster authors.


  • Baker & Scribner, until the death of Baker in 1850
  • Charles Scribner Company
  • Charles Scribner's Sons, name retained for the reference division, now part of Gale
  • Scribner


The Scribner Bookstores are now owned by Barnes & Noble.

See also


  1. ^ Mitgang, Herbert (April 26, 1984). "MACMILLAN ACQUIRES SCRIBNER". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  2. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (November 11, 1993). "Paramount To Acquire Macmillan". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  3. ^ Lyall, Sarah (January 24, 1994). "THE MEDIA BUSINESS; Paramount Publishing to Cut Jobs and Books". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  4. ^ Dunleavey, M. P. (June 13, 1994). "Anatomy of a merger". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c "S&S Reorganizes Adult Group; Levin to Leave Free Press". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  6. ^ "Scribner | Meet the Team | From Simon & Schuster". Archived from the original on January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  7. ^ "Charles Scribner's Sons Lamp Logo - Trademark of GALE GROUP, INC., THE - Registration Number 1212411 - Serial Number 73335981 :: Justia Trademarks". Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  8. ^ "Macmillan Library Units to Join Gale". June 28, 1999. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  9. ^ Sisario, Ben (October 23, 2012). "After Consolidation at Simon & Schuster, Top Two at Free Press Are Leaving". Media Decoder Blog. Retrieved January 16, 2017.
  10. ^ Harris, Elizabeth (October 30, 2023). "KKR Closes Deal to Buy Simon & Schuster". The New York Times. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  11. ^ "Charles Scribner" (PDF). The New York Times. August 28, 1871. Retrieved July 24, 2008. The sad news was received on Saturday evening of the death from fever on that day at Lucerne, Switzerland, of Mr. Charles Scribner, head of the eminent publishing house Charles Scribner & Company...
  12. ^ "Charles Scribner Dies suddenly at 76. Publisher Succumbs to Heart Disease at Home Here. Was at Desk Thursday. Entered Firm as Youth. Directed Business His Father Founded. Fostered Work of American Authors. Firm Founded in 1846. Received Honorary Degree". The New York Times. April 20, 1930. Retrieved July 24, 2008. Charles Scribner, chairman of the Board of Directors of the publishing house of Charles Scribner's Sons, 597 Fifth Avenue, which was founded by his father, died suddenly at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon of heart ...
  13. ^ Pace, Eric (November 13, 1995). "Charles Scribner Jr., Who Headed Publishing Company, Dies at 74". The New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2008. Charles Scribner Jr., the longtime head of the Charles Scribner's Sons book publishing company, died on Saturday at the Mary Manning Walsh nursing home on York Avenue in Manhattan. He was 74 and lived on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for half a century. The cause was pneumonia, and he had suffered for a decade from a degenerative neurological disorder, said his son Charles Scribner 3d.
  14. ^ Bailey, Herbert S. Jr. (1997). "Charles Scribner, Jr. (13 July 1921 – 11 November 1995)". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 141 (2). Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 141, No. 2: 233–237. JSTOR 987306.
  15. ^ "Scribner/Simon & Schuster Acquires Majority of Stephen King's Body of Work".

Further reading

  • Jim Best, Scribner Illustrated Classics: A Collector's Price Guide, Akron, OH: The Bookseller, Inc., 1983.
  • Roger Burlingame, Of Making Many Books: A Hundred Years of Reading, Writing and Publishing, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1946; Penn State University Press, 1996 (Penn State Series in the History of the Book).
  • Robert Trogdon, The Lousy Racket: Hemingway, Scribners, and the Business of Literature, Kent State University Press, 2007.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Charles Scribner's Sons.
Wikisource has original works published by or about: Charles Scribner's Sons
  • The House of Scribner
  • Charles Scribner's Sons at Thomson Gale
  • Archives of Charles Scribner's Sons at the Princeton University Library, Manuscript Division
  • Charles Scribner's Sons Art Reference Department records at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art
  • Charles Scribner's Sons: An Illustrated Chronology Princeton Library
  • Q&A interview with Charles Scribner III on Scribners: Five Generations in Publishing, February 11, 2024, C-SPAN
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