Richard Robinson, longtime Scholastic CEO, lifeless at 84 | Leisure

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden tweeted Sunday that “Robinson was a giant and a legend in children’s literature,” citing his “enduring legacy” as a supporter of libraries and reading.

A native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Harvard College, Robinson was the son of Maurice R. Robinson, who founded Scholastic as a classroom magazine in 1920. The younger Robinson worked as a teacher and bricklayer, among other things, before joining Scholastic in the mid-1960s. He was named President in 1974, CEO in 1975, and Chairman of the Board in 1982.

Robinson’s time at Scholastic was marked by global expansion, financial ups and downs, even with the historic success of “Harry Potter” and occasional battles with censors who opposed books like “Potter”, “Captain Underpants” and Alex Gino’s “George . resisted “inappropriately for younger readers.

“We strongly believe that our books and magazines must cover difficult topics that are relevant, even if we get backlash or are boycotted,” Robinson told The Associated Press in 2020.

Robinson also led historical changes in business and culture, be it the rise of digital media or an increased emphasis on diversity and reviewing the past. In 2016, Scholastic drew “A Birthday Cake for George Washington,” a picture story about one of Washington’s slaves, after widespread allegations that the book portrayed a benevolent portrait of enslavement. This spring, Pilkey agreed to withdraw “The Adventures of Ook and Gluk” because of “harmful racial stereotypes”.