Bob Silvers Has Passed Away

The New York Review of Books founder will be missed

We’re saddened to learn that Robert B. Silvers, founder of The New York Review of Books, has died after a brief struggle with an undisclosed illness. An announcement was made this afternoon by the NYRB via Twitter.

Silvers was a titan of American letters. In 1963, along with Barbara Epstein, A. Whitney Ellsworth, and Elizabeth Hardwick, Silvers founded the landmark publication, which would soon become a standard-bearer for literary criticism and intellectual engagement at home and abroad. Over the years, the NYRB regularly featured the writing of Susan Sontag, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hannah Arendt, James Baldwin, Harold Bloom and Joyce Carol Oates. Silvers and Epstein edited the magazine for over forty years.

The Chicago Tribune once described the NYRB as “one of the few venues in American life that takes ideas seriously…it pays readers the ultimate compliment of assuming that we do too.”

Silvers was recently the subject of the HBO documentary The 50 Year Argument, which memorably portrayed him, a stalwart of old-school publishing, dictating emails over the phone from the back seat of a cab.

Silvers was 87 years old.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

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