Baroness Rebuck to receive The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award 2016

Penguin Executive shoot

Gail Rebuck is a towering figure of British and international publishing, who has contributed much to the industry both as a business leader and through her passionate support for reading and literacy. As Chair and Chief Executive of Random House UK for over 20 years, Gail Rebuck built a formidable international publishing house with a hugely influential and successful author list. Together, authors published by Random House have included numerous international and UK bestsellers and have been awarded 32 Nobel Prizes, 18 Booker Prizes and more than 100 Pulitzer Prizes.

Gail Rebuck remains an influential figure within the publishing industry, as Chair of Penguin Random House UK, and she also provides an important voice speaking on behalf of arts, culture and education in the House of Lords, since she joined in 2014.

She has been a driving force and tireless ambassador behind many of the most influential reading and book campaigns in the UK; from foundation of World Book Day Charity in 1998, as Chair of Quick Reads adult literacy, to helping create Books Are My Bag, the recent campaign to promote bookshops.

Gail was awarded a CBE in 2000, voted Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year in April 2009 and awarded a DBE in the 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Gail, Baroness Rebuck, DBE, said:

“I am so thrilled to receive this award which is such an honour as it comes from the industry I have loved for nearly 40 years. I humbly follow in the footsteps of many friends and colleagues, including inspirational publisher Sonny Mehta and much missed agent Deborah Rogers.

Being a publisher has never simply been a job for me but a passionate vocation. It has been a privilege to work with many of the most talented publishing teams in the industry and there can be no job in the world to match the excitement of being one of the first to read a great author’s new work, discover a new voice or be stimulated by a new idea. Curiosity and a love of books drive everyone in this industry. It is all about the authors.

This year the LBF have put story-telling at the heart of their activities and, as publishers, we need to continue to campaign for the importance and creativity of telling stories but also for 100% literacy to ensure that the truly transformative power of books is available to all.”

Robert Harris, author, said:

“Gail is a unique combination: she has helped shape British publishing at the highest level for almost a quarter of a century, yet has never lost her passionate enthusiasm for individual books, or ceased to care about her authors. Over the years, many of us have become her good friends, and I am proud and delighted to salute her on behalf of all the writers she has published so brilliantly.”

Ed Victor, Ed Victor Literary Agency, said:

”In American football, a player who can run, pass and kick is known as a “Triple Threat”. Gail Rebuck is a Triple Threat in publishing terms because she can edit, publish and manage – all with consummate skill and grace. Such a well-deserved award!”

Tim Godfray, Chief Executive of the Booksellers Association said:

“The Lifetime Achievement Award is richly deserved. Gail is unbelievably busy, and yet she still gives her time to industry initiatives that promote books and encourage reading, like Books Are My Bag and Quick Reads”.

David Roche, Non-Executive Chair of The London Book Fair Advisory Group said:

“Gail Rebuck is a once in a generation publishing giant – a force of nature who has driven herself, her publishing companies and her authors to enormous global success. With her involvement in World Book Day, Quick Reads and the National Literacy Trust, Gail has always been a passionate leader and advocate for literacy for all. I am delighted that London Book Fair can recognize the breadth and distinction of her contribution with this Lifetime Achievement Award.”


The Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing will be presented at the International Excellence Awards, an invitation-only event on Tuesday 12 April 2016, 6.30pm in The Conference Centre, Olympia, London.

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