Penguin Turns 87
On July 30, Penguin Books celebrated the anniversary of its first publication of a book in the then unknown paperback format.
On that day, 87 years ago, Allen Lane, together with his brothers Richard and John, launched Penguin Books in London, beginning as an imprint of The Bodley Head, setting up shop in the basement of Holy Trinity Church, and within a year becoming a separate company.
Their ambitious goal: To publish the best modern literature on a massive scale in a widely distributed paperback format, priced democratically and accessibly.
Allen Lane and family have succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.
Nine decades in, Penguin Books, with its iconic logo, has gone on to become one of the world’s most identifiable consumer brands. It is an international book-publishing gold standard: in its curation of its U.S. backlist catalogue of almost 2,500 active fiction and nonfiction titles; as the publisher of a select, distinctive list of paperback originals; as the home of the Viking publishing programs and Penguin Press paperback reprints.
And of course, as the birth parent for offspring Penguin Publishing Group U.S. and global Penguin Random House.
Please join our Penguin colleagues in wishing Happy Birthday to our beloved Bird.