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Larry Sloan: The ‘Mad Libs’ Publisher’s 5 Other Most Entertaining Books
Posted By Patrick Kiger On October 19, 2012 @ 3:47 pm In Legacy | No Comments
The name Larry Sloan may not ring a bell, but surely you’re familiar with the wildly popular humor books that he published. His biggest success, the Mad Libs series – in which players complete sentences with random words and then read back the invariably silly result – has sold an estimated 110 million copies worldwide.
Publishing actually was a second career for Sloan, who died on Oct. 14 at age 89 in Los Angeles. After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, the New York City native worked for a couple of decades as a Hollywood publicist for such stars as Mae West and Carol Channing. But in the early 1960s, his life changed when his high school friend Leonard Stern, a writer for such TV shows as The Honeymooners and Car 54, Where Are You?, and TV personality Roger Price approached him with an idea they had for a word game that they called Mad Libs. The three formed Price Stern Sloan, a West Hollywood-based publishing company that went on to strike gold with other humor books as well. Sloan ran the business end, but he also traveled the world to discover new books, and even began coming up with ideas for quirky, offbeat and innovative volumes himself.
Here are some of Sloan’s other greatest hits.
After selling the company to what is now the Penguin Group in 1993, Sloan and Stern started another outfit, Tallfellow Press.
Here’s a YouTube clip from a TV show based upon the Mad Libs series:
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