Leading figure of French publishing dies

The French publisher Alain Gründ who held numerous senior positions among publishing bodies in France and Europe has died at the age of 83. Alain Gründ took over the family business, Gründ publishing, from his father in 1963 and successfully managed the company until he sold it in 2007. Alain was President of the Federation of European Publishers from 1990 to 1992 and President of the International Publishers Association (IPA) from 1996 to 2000.

Bodour Al Qasimi, IPA President, said: “The IPA is built on publishers who have dedicated so much of their lives to bringing us, as an international community, together. If I am able to be President of IPA today, it is thanks to the stewardship and leadership of people like Alain. His shared legacy stands as fitting testament for the sector he dedicated his life to.”

Immediate past IPA President, Hugo Setzer paid tribute to Alain Gründ saying: “I met Alain during the time of his IPA presidency and admired him for his intelligence and humbleness. He was thoughtful and resolved. Alain was tough on problems but soft with people. He was a true gentleman.

“It was in my early days in IPA and I looked up to him and thought that perhaps one day I might also become president, like him. He was a role model to me and in time became a cherished friend. He will be dearly missed.”

Gründ believed passionately in fixed prices for books and in copyright. Fellow past IPA president Richard Charkin recalls attending meetings of the Frankfurt Book Fair board with him. “He was quite silent for most of the meetings but would then pop up with what can only be described a ‘le mot juste’…”