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Alfred A. Knopf, Sr. (New York, September 12, 1892 – August 11, 1984) was a leading 20th-century American publisher, founder of the Alfred A. Knopf publishing house , Inc .. Knopf was known for paying special attention to the quality of printing, binding and design of books, and achieved a reputation as a purist in aspects such as the content and presentation of books.
Knopf was born into a Jewish family. His father, Samuel Knopf, was an advertising executive and financial consultant; his mother’s name was Ida Japhe and his brother Edwin H. Knopf, who worked for Alfred for a short period of time, later became a film director and producer.
Alfred studied at Columbia University, where he prepared for a law degree and was a member of the Peithologian Society, a literary and debating club. He began to show interest in editing during his final year of studies, becoming the advertising manager of a university magazine. His interest in editing was supposedly fostered by a correspondence with British author John Galsworthy. After visiting him in England, Knopf gave up his plans for a law degree and returned to embark on the world of publishing.
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