Publisher Stephen Johnson passes away

Penguin Random House South Africa is very sad to announce that Stephen Johnson, a former colleague, has passed away.

Stephen worked as the Managing Director of Random House South Africa for many years and was Managing Director of the merged Random House Struik from 2009 to 2012. Following that he also spent two years as CEO of Penguin South Africa.

During his time in publishing, Stephen worked closely with many great writers and was an active and larger-than-life figure in the local industry. Stephen was renowned for his erudition and remarkable eloquence, making him much in demand as Master of Ceremonies for many events. He was an active and highly involved figure in the Publishers Association of South Africa for many years and has been a true leader in the industry.

Our thoughts go to Louis, his partner, and to his children and family.

Steve Connolly
Managing Director
Penguin Random House South Africa

Quote from Gail Rebuck:

It is with great sadness that I heard the news of Stephen Johnson’s untimely death. He was a larger than life figure and the face of Random House in South Africa for many years.

I shall never forget an incredible visit to South Africa to launch Umuzi in 2006, when Stephen had arranged a surprise and truly remarkable tea with Nelson Mandela. Mandela responded so warmly to Stephen’s size and exuberance that he started calling him The Boxer – a nickname we adopted for Stephen ever after.

Stephen was known in South Africa as the ‘writer’s publisher’ and will be greatly missed.

Gail Rebuck
Baroness Rebuck, DBE


Categories International South Africa

Tags Obituary Penguin Random House SA RIP Stephen Johnson

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