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Simon Michael Bessie

Simon Michael Bessie, American publisher. Recipient Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1946, Curtis Benjamin award Association American Publications, 1986.

Background

  • Bessie, Simon Michael was born on January 23, 1916 in New York City. Son of Abraham and Ella (Brainin) Bessie.

  • Education

    • Bachelor magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1936.

    Career

    • Reporter Newark Star Eagle, 1936. With research department Radio-Keith-Orpheum-Radio Pictures, 1936-1938. Editor Market Research Monthly, 1938.

      Free-lance writer Europe, Africa, 1938-1939. Associate editor, war editor, war correspondent Look magazine, 1940-1942. Editor Harper & Brothers, 1946-1952, general editor, 1952-1959.

      Co-founder Atheneum Publications, 1959, president, 1963-1975. Senior vice president Harper & Row, New York City, 1975-1981, vice president, 1988-1991. President Joshuatown Public Associates, Lyme, Connecticut, 1981—2008.

      Co-public Cornelia and Michael Bessie Books, 1981—2008. Consultant editor Counterpoint Press, 1995-2002, Perseus Books Group, 1999-2002. Lecturer English, Columbia University, 1953-1959.

      Director novel workshop New School, 1959-1963, director Franklin book programs, 1963-1972. Chairman visiting committee Harvard University Press, 1972-1978, board directors, 1980-1991. Board directors American Book Publications Council, 1964-1969, Center for Communications, 1981-2008.

      Chairman trade book div. Association American Publications, 1970-1972, board directors, 1972-1976, chairman, 1974-1975, chairman freedom to read committee, 1975-1978, international freedom to public committee, 1975. Board directors Harper & Row, 1975-1987.

      Member executive committee Center for Book, Library. of Congress, chairman.

    Works

    • Author: Jazz Journalism, 1938. Contributor numerous articles to magazines.

    Membership

    Board overseers visiting committee department history Harvard University, 1964-1977. Chairman literature panel National Arts Council, 1971-1974, chairman special projects panel, 1974-1981. Chairman board advisors Station W National Educational Television, 1979-1983, trustee, 1983-1996, life trustee, 1997—2008.

    Chairman book committee Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 1986-1991, member technical book committee, 1992-2001. Served as chief news bureau psychological warfare branch, 1943-1944, Algiers, Sicily, Italy. Chief psychological warfare combat team 1944, Southern France.

    Deputy director United States Information Service, 1944-1946, France. Member Council Foreign Relations, Association Harvard Alumni (director 1974-1977), Phi Beta Kappa. Clubs: Century Association (New York City), Harvard (New York City).

    Federal City (Washington).

    Connections

    • Married Constance Ernst, September 12, 1945. Children: Nicholas, Katherine. Married Cornelia Schaeffer, December 21, 1968.
    • father: Abraham Bessie
    • mother: Ella (Brainin) Bessie
    • spouses: Constance Ernst
    • Cornelia Schaeffer
    • children: Nicholas Bessie
    • Katherine Bessie
    See on larger map
    Born January 23, 1916
    Died April 7, 2008
    (aged 92)
    Nationality
    • 1936
      Harvard University
    • 1936
      Reporter Newark Star Eagle
    • 1936 - 1938
      with research department Radio-Keith-Orpheum-Radio Pictures
    • 1938
      editor Market Research Monthly
    • 1938 - 1939
      free-lance writer, Europe
    • 1940 - 1942
      associate, editor
    • 1946 - 1952
      editor Harper & Brothers
    • 1952 - 1959
      editor Harper & Brothers
    • 1975 - 1981
      senior, vice president Harper & Row
    • 1981 - 2008
      president, Joshuatown Public Associates
      Lyme, New Hampshire, United States
    • 1981 - 2008
      co-public Cornelia and Michael Bessie Books
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