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.