Richard Robinson, CEO of Children's Book Giant Scholastic, Dies at 84

Kimberly Redmond  |


Image: Richard Robinson. Source: Scholastic Corp

Richard Robinson, the longtime chief executive officer of children’s publishing giant Scholastic Corporation (Nasdaq: SCHL), died Saturday at the age of 84 in Chilmark, Massachusetts, on Martha’s Vineyard.  

In a statement announcing Robinson’s death, the publishing house did not provide a cause of death but said he “has been in excellent health and had been overseeing Scholastic’s long-term strategic direction and day-to-day operations for the better part of five decades.”  

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Dick Robinson. Dick was a true visionary in the world of children’s books and an unrelenting advocate for children’s literacy and education with a remarkable passion his entire life,” Scholastic’s board of directors said. 

“The company’s directors and employees, as well as the many educators, parents and students whose lives he touched, mourn his loss,” the board also said.

The Pittsburgh native and Harvard College graduate was the son of Maurice Robinson, who founded Scholastic in 1920 as a classroom magazine. After joining the family business in the mid-1960s, the younger Robinson was named president in 1974, chief executive officer in 1975 and board chair in 1982.

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Under Robinson’s leadership, Scholastic grew into the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and is the company behind bestsellers like J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” novels, Suzanne Collins’s “The Hunger Games” series, Ann M. Martin’s “The Baby-Sitters Club,” R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” and Norman Bridewell’s “Clifford the Big Red Dog.”

Scholastic is also known for its range of educational materials, reading clubs, book fairs and writing contests.

The publishing house has long said it distributes one out of every three children’s books purchased in the US through its clubs, fairs, programs, non-profit partners, retailers and online. 

Scholastic said that its Class A shareholders and board of directors will meet independently “to determine the best course for the company’s direction, including the appointment of an interim operating head.”

A contingency plan is in place that calls for day-to-day operations to be handled by a group including lead independent director James Barge, chief strategy officer Iole Lucchese, general counsel Andrew S. Hedden and CFO Kenneth Cleary.

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Source: Equities News

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