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G. P. Putnam's Sons was a major United States book publisher based in New York City, New York. Since its founding in 1838, the company has had several names, including Wiley & Putnam and, since 1996, Putnam Penguin, Inc.



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

The company began as Wiley & Putnam with the 1838 partnership between George Palmer Putnam and John Wiley, who 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 to ever 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 ? back to ownership of John Wiley and Sons, which is still an independent publisher to the present day.

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.[1] 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.[2] This printing side of the business later became a separate division called the Knickerbocker Press, where it was relocated in 1889 was to a new purpose-built building ordered by the Putnams in New Rochelle, New York, the Knickerbocker Press Building.[3]

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. Putnam's son, George P. Putnam (1887-1950), was married to aviator Amelia Earhart.

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. In 1982, Putnam acquired the respected children's book publisher, Grosset & Dunlap.

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 use the name to publish the G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers.


  1. ^ Putnam (2001), p.60
  2. ^ Putnam (2001), pp.61–62
  3. ^ Putnam (2001), p.62


  • 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.  

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