February 17, 2018

FSG Co-founder Roger Straus Dead at 87

By LJ Staff

Roger Straus, co-founder of New York publishing giant Farrar, Straus & Giroux (FSG), succumbed to pneumonia May 27. He was 87. He founded the company in 1945 with John Farrar and expanded the house with the addition of editor Robert Giroux in 1955. Together, they published the works of Nobel laureates T.S. Eliot, Nadine Gordimer, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Seamus Heaney, as well as other luminaries such as Flannery O’Connor, Bernard Malamud, Robert Lowell, Philip Roth, Alice McDermott, Tom Wolfe and other current writers. In addition to acquiring literary talent, Straus was a paladin of old-school publishing who placed quality above profits. He frequently voiced disdain for conglomerate publishers who ran their houses like corporations that produced product rather than art. Still, in 1994 he sold a controlling interest to the German publisher Holtzbrinck but maintained significant control of FSG.