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Jason Wolkow Epstein (born January 26, 1928) is an Americanmarker editor and publisher.

A 1949 graduate of Columbia College, Epstein was hired by Bennett Cerf at Random House, where he was the editorial director for forty years. He was responsible for the Vintage paperbacks, which published such authors as Norman Mailer, Vladimir Nabokov, E. L. Doctorow, Gore Vidal, Itai Guttman, and Philip Roth. In 1952, while an editor at Doubleday, he created the Anchor Books imprint. This was the first of the trade paperback formats, a format which has consistently remained profitable and popular since that time.

In 1963, during the New York Citymarker newspaper strike, he co-founded The New York Review of Books, with his then-wife, Barbara Epstein, Elizabeth Hardwick and Robert Lowell.

He wrote a book entitled Book Business: Publishing Past, Present, and Future. In 1979, he and Edmund Wilson were the co-founders of the Library of America which was intended to market archival quality editions of American classic literature. The first volumes were published in 1982, and the company now prints about 250,000 volumes per year.

He has been the recipient of the first National Book Award for Distinguished Service to American Letters and the Curtis Benjamin Award of the Association of American Publishers for "inventing new kinds of publishing and editing and The Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Book Critic's Circle."

In 1993, Epstein married Judith Miller, a journalist who wrote for The New York Times and was incarcerated for refusing to reveal her sources in the Karl Rove-Robert Novak CIA leak story. He created a residence in the former NYC Police Headquarters in SoHomarker, which was decorated by Robert Denning of Denning & Fourcade.

His most recent endeavour is On Demand Books, the company that markets the Espresso Book Machine, which he co-founded in 2004.

In 2007 he received the Philolexian Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement.


  1. "Editorial Statement — Brushing Up Jason Epstein's Downtown Loft", by Judith Thurman, Architectural Digest, March 1995, v. 52 #3, pp. 186-200
  2. "A Vision for Books That Exults in Happenstance" by Dinitia Smith January 13, 2001, New York Times online retrieved August 9, 2009

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