G. P. Putnam's Sons

"Knickerbocker Press" redirects here. For the building, see Knickerbocker Press Building.
G. P. Putnam's Sons
Parent company Penguin Group
Founded 1838
Founder George Palmer Putnam and John Wiley
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location New York City
Publication types Books
Imprints Amy Einhorn, Marian Wood
Official website us.penguingroup.com

G. P. Putnam's Sons is an American book publisher based in New York City, New York. Since 1996, it has been an imprint of the Penguin Group.[1]


The company began as Wiley & Putnam with the 1838 partnership between George Palmer Putnam and John Wiley, whose father had founded his own company in 1807.

In 1841, Putnam went to London, UK where he set up a branch office, the first American company ever to do so. In 1848, he returned to New York, where he dissolved the partnership with John Wiley and established G. Putnam Broadway, publishing a variety of works including quality illustrated books. Wiley began John Wiley (later John Wiley and Sons), which is still an independent publisher to the present day.

George Palmer Putnam, pictured, partnered with John Wiley in 1838 to form Wiley & Putnam

In 1853, G. P. Putnam & Co. started Putnam’s Magazine with Charles Frederick Briggs as its editor.

On George Palmer Putnam’s death in 1872, his sons George H., John and Irving inherited the business and the firm's name was changed to G. P. Putnam's Sons.[2] Son George H. Putnam became president of the firm, a position he held for the next fifty-two years.

In 1874, the company established its own book printing and manufacturing office, set up by John Putnam and operating initially out of newly leased premises at 182 Fifth Avenue.[3] This printing side of the business later became a separate division called the Knickerbocker Press, and was relocated in 1889 to the Knickerbocker Press Building, built specifically for the press in New Rochelle, New York.[4]

Publisher's Imprint

On the death of George H. Putnam in 1930, the various Putnam heirs voted to merge the firm with Minton, Balch & Co., who became the majority stockholders. George Palmer Putnam's grandson, George P. Putnam (1887–1950), left the firm at that time. Melville Minton, the partner and sales manager of Minton Balch & Co., became acting president and majority stockholder of the firm until his death in 1956. In 1936, Putnam acquired the publisher Coward-McCann (later Coward, McCann & Geoghegan), and ran it as an imprint into the 1980s. Upon Melville Minton's death, his son Walter J. Minton took command of Putnam's and brought the company to its lofty heights as one of the country's most respected and controversial publishing houses.

In 1965, G. P. Putnam's Sons acquired Berkley Books, a mass market paperback publishing house. Ten years later, Putnam Publishing Group and Berkley Publishing Group were sold to MCA, Inc.[5] In 1982, Putnam acquired the respected children's book publisher, Grosset & Dunlap, from Filmways.

In 1996, the company was bought by the Penguin Group, a division of the British publishing conglomerate, Pearson PLC. The new owners merged Putnam/Berkley with Penguin USA to form Penguin Putnam Inc., who uses the name to publish the G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers. In 2013, Penguin merged with Bertelsmann's Random House, forming Penguin Random House.[1]


Some of the many authors associated with G. P. Putnam's Sons.


  1. 1 2 Emily Minehart and Meg Hixon. "Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign". www.library.illinois.edu. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  2. Putnam (2001), p.60
  3. Putnam (2001), pp.61–62
  4. Putnam (2001), p.62
  5. Nagle, James J. (1975-09-23). "MCA Sets Accord In Move to Acquire Shares of Putnam's". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-11-08.
  6. Princeton
  • "Publishing Archives". September 2003. AMERICAN PUBLISHING HISTORY AT PRINCETON. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  • Putnam, George Haven (2001) [1916]. Memories of a publisher 1865-1915 (reprinted from the 1916 second ed.). Honolulu, HI: University Press of the Pacific. ISBN 0-89875-600-6. OCLC 966450. 
  • Putnam, George Haven; Putnam, J. B. (1897). Authors and Publishers (Seventh ed.). New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. 
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