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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

Cerf:

Now I'm going to go into Random House. I still remember when we first did a million dollars worth of business in one year.

Q:

When was that?

Cerf:

About the time of the war we got into the million dollar class. This last year we did over fifty million dollars. That's quite a jump!

Really great things happen in spurts, and Random House had its really great years around 1958 and 1959. In 1959 and '60, for months on end, we had the two number one books in the country, something that we've done three times in the past seven years. I don't think that any other publishing house in history can equal that. We had Hawaii as number one in fiction and Act I as number one in non-fiction for months. Hawaii was by James Michener and Act I was by Moss Hart. We were sailing along. We had six or seven books out of twenty books on the best-seller list for months on end. It was a fabulous year.

Now, a development came along that was very important to us although it wasn't apparent at the time. Atheneum Publishers was formed by Hiram Haydn (our own editor), Mike Bessie, and Pat Knopf.

Q:

How did that come about?

Cerf:

I think that I've told you about our top editors. When



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