Don Congdon, a prominent literary agent, died last Monday at his home in the Heights, as reported in yesterday’s New York Times:
Don Congdon, a literary agent who spotted the talent of Ray Bradbury early in both their careers and whose long list of celebrated authors also included William Styron, Jack Finney, Evan S. Connell, William L. Shirer and David Sedaris, died on Monday at his home in Brooklyn Heights. He was 91.
Congdon’s was a true rags-to-riches story. The son of a Pennsylvania railroad worker, he arrived in New York during the depression with eight dollars in his pocket, and got a job delivering manuscripts from a literary agency to publishing houses. With no more than a high school education, he became agent for some of the most celebrated American writers of his time, and was regarded as an especially acute judge of literary talent. Ray Bradbury, one of his clients, dedicated what has become his best known work, Farenheit 451, which along with Huxley’s Brave New World and Orwell’s 1984 is one of the great dystopian novels of the past century, to Congdon.
Thanks to reader Andrew Porter for the tip.