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.

More Like This

Why Is Dying in America So Expensive?

Megan Giddings, author of "Lakewood," on how our racist, capitalist medical system exploits Black bodies

Mar 24 - Leticia Urieta

After My Grandfather Died, I Met Him for the First Time in Poetry

I admired my Nanu, but I never knew how alike we were until I discovered his book of poems

Mar 20 - Jeevika Verma

Writing Doesn’t Need to Hurt

Why do we seem to think that the most painful personal writing must be the best?

Mar 17 - Lindsay King-Miller
Thank You!