Paperbacks pioneer Oscar Dystel dies in NY at 101

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 9:06 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — A pioneer of paperbacks who transformed Bantam Books into a powerhouse that released best-selling editions of "The Catcher in the Rye," ''Jaws," ''Ragtime" and many others has died in New York. Oscar Dystel was 101.

Literary agent Jane Dystel says her father died Wednesday at his home in Rye, just north of New York City. He had been in failing health in recent years.

Dystel was hired by Bantam in 1954 and remained there 26 years. During his reign Bantam released hundreds of books a year, from Peter Benchley's "Jaws" and E.L. Doctorow's "Ragtime" to a million-selling edition of the Warren Commission's report on President John F. Kennedy's assassination and Jacqueline Susann's sensational "Valley of the Dolls."

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