Stephen Johnson dies

News - International Monday, 07 January 2019

Gail Rebuck pays tribute to SA publisher


Stephen Johnson, former managing director of Exclusive Books and ceo of Penguin Books in South Africa, has died. Johnson left Penguin in 2014, following the merger of the company with Random House Struik.

Gail Rebuck (Baroness Rebuck), chair of Penguin Random House UK, said: "It is with great sadness that I heard the news of Stephen Johnson's untimely death. He was a larger than life figure and the face of Random House in South Africa for many years.

"I shall never forget an incredible visit to South Africa to launch Umuzi in 2006, when Stephen had arranged a surprise and truly remarkable tea with Nelson Mandela. Mandela responded so warmly to Stephen's size and exuberance that he started calling him The Boxer - a nickname we adopted for Stephen ever after.

"Stephen was known in South Africa as the 'writer's publisher', and will be greatly missed."

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