Student, Princeton University, 1948-1951; student, United States Naval Academy, 1951-1953; Bachelor, U. Missouri, Columbia, 1953; postgraduate, Harvard Law School, 1955-1956.
College traveler, The Dryden Press, Inc., New York City, 1957-1959;
college traveler, The Macmillan Company. New York City, 1959-1960;
editor, The Macmillan Company, 1960-1967;
associate executive editor, Columbia University Press, New York City, 1968-1974;
editor in chief, Columbia University Press, 1974-1980;
president, Columbia University Press, 1980-1997;
also board directors, Columbia University Press. Board directors, president Columbia University Music Press.
Board directors University Presses of California, Columbia and Princeton, Chichester, West Sussex, England, 1979-1997, chairman, 1981-1983, 85-87, 96-97. Trustee Composer's Recordings, Inc.,1984-1997.
Board directors Greenwich (Connecticut) Health Association, 1970-1975. Board directors associate Family Center, Greenwich, Stamford, since 1975. Trustee Princeton Library. in New York City, since 1984.
Member vestry St. Barnabas Church, Greenwich, 1995-1998. With United States Army, 1953-1955. Member Association American University Presses (chair international committee 1994-1996, board directors 1996-1997).
Clubs: Publishers Lunch (admissions committee 1996-1999), Princeton Club New York (member senior committee since 2006, Faculty House Columbia University, Century Association. Nassau, the Book Table, The Church Club New York, Princeton Club Southern California, The English Speaking Union (Greenwich branch member, board directors 2010), The Mystery Club (president 2006-2007), member executive committee Princeton class since 1952, Royal Oak Foundation, Friends Canterbury Cathedral, United States, Northwest Greenwich Association (board member since 2009, secretary).
Married Lydia Benz Ahern, August 15, 1959. Children: Alison Ahern, Lydia Benz, John Talmage, Maude Ahern, Meredith Coleman.