Morton Janklow, one of the country’s most famous literary agents, has died at 91, the New York Times reports.
With Lynn Nesbit, Janklow was the co-founder of Janklow & Nesbit Associates, the agency whose huge client list includes Danielle Steel, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kiese Laymon, and Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Janklow, a New York native, was educated at Syracuse University and Columbia Law School. He worked as a corporate lawyer before starting his career as a literary agent in 1972, with friend William Safire as his first client.
He went on to represent a host of famous clients, including Sidney Sheldon, Judith Krantz, Pope John Paul II, and Ronald Reagan.
Janklow was remembered by his friends and admirers on social media. On Twitter, author Priscilla Gilman, a Janklow & Nesbit client, wrote, “So deeply sad about the death of Mort Janklow, my mother’s partner in business & dear friend in life, my boss & mentor when I worked as an agent, a mensch, a storyteller, a paternal champion of me as a mom of special needs kids & as a writer.”
Another client, journalist Nicholas Kristof, tweeted, “Mort Janklow, the best of literary agents and a huge force in America’s book scene, is dead at 91. He worked with Sheryl and me for more than three decades. RIP, Mort, and thank you.”
Mort Janklow, the best of literary agents and a huge force in America's book scene, is dead at 91. He worked with Sheryl and me for more than three decades. RIP, Mort, and thank you. https://t.co/F7jtfVyvX7— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) May 26, 2022
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.