Sterling Lord: Literary agent, Businessperson (born: 1920 - died: n/a) | Biography
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Sterling Lord

Sterling Lord

Sterling Lord
The basics

Quick Facts

Is Literary agent Businessperson
From United States of America
Field Business Literature
Gender male
Birth 1920
Age 103 years
Grinnell College
The details (from wikipedia)


Sterling Lord (born 1921?) is an American literary agent who has represented some of the major names in American writing, including Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey and Howard Fast.

Early life and education

Lord was born in Burlington, Iowa. His father was a bookbinder at the Leopold Desk Company in Burlington. Aldo Leopold, a scientist and writer, was his uncle.

At high school, Lord was the school's newspaper editor. He became a tennis single champ in 1937 and 1938. Lord attended Grinnell College.


After graduation, Lord joined the military and worked for a news organization of the military community.

A magazine called Weekend which he bought with a partner failed, and he was fired from Cosmopolitan magazine. Therefore, in 1951, he founded his own business, a literary shop in New York City. In 1952, he launched his literary agency.

Kerouac entrusted him with his novel On the Road, and after more than four years Viking Press bought and published it.

Lord has said that being male gave him an advantage in the female-dominated world of literary agents, being knowledgeable in the sports scene. He represented authors writing about boxing and baseball for example, as well as newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin, Kesey with One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, or political figures John Sirica and Robert McNamara.

In 2013, Open Road published Lord's memoir Lord of Publishing.

Frank Deford, a sportswriter and novelist, was his client and in a promotion for Lord's memoir, stated, "He's a giant."

In 2015, the city of Burlington held its first Sterling Lord Writers and Readers Festival to honor him.

In April 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, Lord was profiled among other senior New Yorkers in the New York Times. The article reported that Lord was living in a Lower Manhattan home for seniors, and he was starting a new literary agency at 99 years old. One author represented by his agency was Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

Personal life

Lord first married a French woman and divorced, just as three more. He had one daughter.

As of 2015, aged 94, he had not visited Burlington since 1977, as relatives and friends have died.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 02 Aug 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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