Betty Ballantine

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Betty Ballantine (born September 25, 1919) is a publisher who, with her husband Ian Ballantine, formed Bantam Books in 1945 and Ballantine Books in 1952. They became freelance publishers in the 1970s. Their son Richard is an author and journalist specialising in cycling topics.

Ballantine received a Special Committee Award from L.A.con IV in 2006. In 2007 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Fantasy Awards.

In 1956, radio humorist/improvisational monologist Jean Shepherd perpetrated a major literary hoax, telling his listeners to ask in bookstores for a non-existent book by a non-existent author--I, Libertine, by "Frederick R. Ewing." The requests and publishing mystery reached such a level that Ian Ballantine asked science fiction author Theodore Sturgeon, working with Shepherd, to write such a book, and he did. It's said that he fell asleep before finishing it and that Betty Ballantine wrote the final chapter. It was published in September, 1956, mostly in paperback, and sold several hundred thousand copies. There is a hard-cover edition (also by Ballantine Books), as well as a British hardcover and a paperback edition.


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