Publisher Ian Ballantine (1916-1995) was born 100 years ago today.
Ballantine waas a fervid believer in the possibility of paperback printing, the subject of his Master's thesis from the London School of Economics.
He arranged the distribution of Penguin Books in the United States. He went on to become the first president of Bantam Books, serving from 1945 to 1952 when he and his wife Betty founded Ballantine Books, one of the earliest publishers of science fiction originals, bringing to the publlic some of the biggest names in the burgeoning field. Ballantine was the offical paperback publisher of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and moved on in the late Sixties/early Seventies to present the Ballantine Adult Fantasy line, both of which did much to inspire the fantasy boom.
Life for many of us would have been quite different if it weren't for Ian Ballantine's vision and leadership.