McClelland and Stewart Ltd.

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McClelland and Stewart Ltd.

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In April 1906 John McClelland and Frederick D. Goodchild left the Methodist Book and Publishing House and began a book supply company in Toronto. On 20 September 1907, McClelland and Goodchild was officially registered as a company. George Stewart joined the firm in 1913 while Goodchild left in 1918. The name of the company was changed to McClelland and Stewart. Jack McClelland, John McClelland's son, was the president of the company from 1952 to 1982. In 1982 he became chairman when Linda McKnight was elevated to president. In December 1985 McClelland and Stewart was rejuvenated when Avie Bennett, an asute businessman and an important supporter of Canadian culture and the arts, purchased the company and served as its President. Bennett soon hired Douglas M. Gibson as editor and publisher of a separate imprint, Douglas Gibson Books, appointing Adrienne Clarkson as Publisher, and promoting Ellen Seligman, who had joined the firm in 1977 as Senior Editor, to Editorial Director, Fiction.

In June 2000 Bennett donated 75% of the publishing arm of McClelland and Stewart to the University of Toronto. He sold the other 25% to Random House Canada. Avie Bennett became Chairman of the Board, Douglas Gibson became President and Publisher of McClelland & Stewart, while retaining his own imprint, and Ellen Seligman assumed the role of Publisher (Fiction) and Vice-President (later becoming Senior Vice-President). Returning to Canada from the Crown Publishing Group (a division of Random House, Inc.) in New York, Douglas Pepper assumed the position of President and Publisher of McClelland & Stewart in June 2000, while Gibson continued his position as the editor and publisher of Douglas Gibson Books. Pepper, while making many innovations has, along with Ellen Seligman on the fiction side, maintained the company's commitment to publish a vibrant and high-quality list. On the non-fiction side, Susan Renouf joined the company as Chief Operating Officer and Associate Publisher (non-fiction).

For a detailed history of the company up to 1994 as well the books published, see Carl Spadoni and Judy Donnelly, A Bibliography of McClelland and Stewart Imprints, 1909-1985: A Publisher's Legacy (1994).


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A. Wilson

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