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Mel Shapiro of Book Sales has died at 90



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Melvin Shapiro named by PW in 2000 “as a sage in the bargain book business,” died this month at age 90.

Shapiro entered the book industry in 1964 when he left his uncle’s jewelry business to join his brother-in-law’s small distribution company, Book Sales. Shapiro eventually became president of the business and turned it into one of the largest promotional and residual publishers in the world, selling books to a large and diverse group of publishers worldwide.

When Shapiro retired from book sales in October 2016, he was considered one of the most engaging and entertaining personalities in the publishing industry. His peers have described him as a “pioneer in the book business” and an “absolute legend.”

He is survived by his wife of almost 65 years, Arlene Shapiro; three children, Stephen Shapiro, Jaime (Shapiro) Cohen and Sloane Shapiro; son-in-law Kenneth Cohen; and two grandchildren, Alexandra and Andrew Cohen.


Mel Shapiro of Book Sales has died at 90

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