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Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Authors

Tom Doherty

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Tom Doherty

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Full Name: Thomas Doherty
Born: April 23, 1935
Occupation: Publisher
Nationality: American


Tom Doherty is an American publisher, and the founder of science fiction and fantasy book publisher Tor Books. Doherty attended Trinity College in the '50s, where he majored in philosophy and played guard in football, before serving nearly two years in the US Army.

Doherty's career in books began in the late 1950s, when he worked as a salesman for Pocket Books, eventually rising to National Sales Manager. He was an avid SF and fantasy reader from an early age, and he paid particular attention to those genres even when he was responsible for selling all kinds of books. His first contact with science fiction's social world was probably in the early 1960s, when his selling territory included Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, home of the longtime SF writer (and reviewer for Analog) P. Schuyler Miller, with whom Tom became friends. In those years, Pocket distributed Ballantine Books, which was still run by founders Ian and Betty Ballantine, and Doherty developed a relationship with the Ballantines, who shared with him innumerable insights into the business not usually ventured by publishers to their sales managers.

Doherty became publisher of mass-market paperback line Tempo Books in 1972; in 1975, he became, in addition, publisher of another company also owned by Grosset & Dunlap, the science fiction imprint Ace Books. In 1980, he left Ace to found his own company, Tor Books. He lured fellow Ace employee Jim Baen to Tor soon after it was founded, and they quickly built the company into a powerhouse before Baen left in 1983 to found his own imprint, Baen Books. To this day, even after Jim's death, Tor maintains a friendly rivalry with Baen, and Doherty retains a silent partner stake in Baen Books.

Tor became a subsidiary of St. Martin's Press in 1987; both are now subsidiaries of Holtzbrinck Publishers. Doherty continues as president and publisher of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, publishing under the Tor, Forge, Orb, Starscape, and Tor Teen imprints. Both of Doherty's daughters work for Tor Books.

In 2005, Doherty was awarded a World Fantasy Award in the "Lifetime Achievement" category at the World Fantasy Convention for his contributions to the fantasy field.

Tom Doherty: On Publishing (excerpts from an interview in the October 2003 issue of Locus Magazine)

Talking With Tom: Conversations between Tom Doherty and Speculative Fiction Writers

In Conversation with Tom Doherty: An Interview by Rebecca Lovatt

Works in the WWEnd Database


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