The publishing industry lost a brilliant visionary when Walter Zacharius died earlier this week. Zacharius founded Kensington Publishing back in the early 1970s. However, his contributions to the publishing industry do not end there, he was also a driving force behind the first "special-effect" foil stamped book covers bringing holographic, 3D and moving image covers to US readers. Zacharius also created a successful African American imprint, as well as the first line of Spanish-language romances. And just a few years ago he opened a film production company on the West Coast in conjunction with the East Coast-based Kensington Publishing.
The New York native attended New York University on the GI bill and fought for the United States of America in Europe during World War II. In addition to his work at Kensington Publishing, he became involved in philanthropy, generously donating his time and money to many causes such as the United Jewish Appeal, the United Cerebral Palsy of Queens, Harlem RBI and several scholarships for minority students and those interested in publishing. Fulfilling a dream since childhood, Zacharius published his debut novel when he was 81, 2004's Songbird, which was later re-titled The Memories We Keep.
RT BOOK REVIEWS' Publisher and Internet Director Carol Stacy says, "Walter was a pioneer of the romance genre who wasn’t afraid to embrace romantic fiction when most publishers in the late 70s and early 80s were. He was an innovator and a visionary who loved taking chances, publishing cutting-edge books like Constance O’Day-Flannery’s time-travel novel, Timeless Passion, back in 1986 which spawned what was to become the paranormal craze. He has a knack for recognizing and filling fiction voids like when he launched the African-American imprint Arabesque in 1990 which opened the door for many new authors. The publishing industry has lost a champion and a friend and he will be sorely missed — especially by me."
You can pay your respects at his funeral which will be held Sunday March 6, 2011 at 10 am. The memorial will be held at The Riverside on 76th street and Amsterdam in New York City, NY.