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Leona Joan Nevler[1]

Female 1926 - 2005  (79 years)

Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Leona Joan Nevler  [2, 3
    Born 20 May 1926  Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Gender Female 
    _UID D0D69597457C4ACE96DB99008B1B3537C76E 
    Died 10 Dec 2005  New York, New York, New York, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 5
    Person ID I8761  My Family Tree
    Last Modified 21 Jul 2015 

    Family James Henry Silberman 
     1. Michael David Silberman
     2. Ellen Judith Silberman
    Last Modified 18 Aug 2008 
    Family ID F2281  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • Leona Nevler, a prominent book editor who 50 years ago helped secure the publication of a first novel set in an imaginary town called Peyton Place, died on Saturday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. She was 79 and had homes in Manhattan and Westport, Conn.

      The cause was a pulmonary embolism after surgery, her daughter, Ellen J. Silberman, said.

      At her death, Ms. Nevler was a senior editor at Berkley Books, an imprint of the Penguin Group. For much of her career she was an executive at Fawcett Books.

      Known primarily for publishing paperbacks, Ms. Nevler handled the work of many prominent writers, among them John Updike, Margaret Atwood, Jane Smiley, P. D. James, Dick Francis, James A. Michener, Jeffrey Archer, Amy Tan and Fannie Flagg.

      Leona Joan Nevler was born in Lynn, Mass., and earned a bachelor's degree in English from Boston University in 1947.

      Her first publishing job was with Little, Brown, followed, in the mid-1950's, by a stint as a manuscript reader for Lippincott. She joined Fawcett in 1955.

      While reading for Lippincott, Ms. Nevler was sent the draft of a novel by a New Hampshire housewife named Grace Metalious. Originally titled "The Tree and the Blossom," it chronicled the dark sexual underside of a picture-postcard New England town.

      The book had far too much steam for Lippincott, as Ms. Nevler knew. She recommended it instead to Kathryn G. Messner, who ran Julian Messner, an independent publishing house in New York. Ms. Messner snapped it up, asking Ms. Nevler to help edit the manuscript as a freelance.

      Published in 1956, "Peyton Place" went on to sell more than 10 million copies and spawn several movies and a television series. The title became a catchphrase for suburban dysfunction.

      At Fawcett, Ms. Nevler helped start the Crest Books reprint line and held various editorial positions, eventually becoming vice president and publisher of Fawcett Books.

      She left in 1981 and moved to Ballantine Books, which had acquired the Fawcett list.

      She retired from Ballantine in 2001 as a senior vice president and editorial director.

      Ms. Nevler's marriage to James H. Silberman ended in divorce. Besides her daughter, of Newton, Mass., she is survived by a son, Michael Silberman, of Montclair, N.J.; a sister, Alberta N. Grossman of Manhattan and Westport; and four grandchildren.

      NEVLER--Leona. On December 10, 2005. Suddenly, she left a love that was spread through a family and beyond. She was the dear mother of Ellen and Michael Silberman and their spouses Brian Baron and Emily Eldridge, and devoted grandmother of Sophie, Eli, Ethan and Jacob. With the same gentleness and understanding with which she guided the young of her family, she helped writers become authors over her 50 years as one of the first women in publishing. Smart and elegant, she loved good food, stylish clothes and a good turn of phrase. Generous (to a fault) to her family, she is deeply missed by her sister Alberta N. Grossman, brother-in-law Lawrence K. Grossman, nieces Susan Grossman, Jenny Peltz and Caroline Grossman, and their husbands, Sanford Cohen, Andrew Peltz and Andrew Greene, and her six grandnieces and nephews: Rebecca, Ben, Hilary, Allyson, Sarah and Jeremy.

  • Sources 
    1. [S2] Original Import into Legacy.

    2. [S645], middle name (Reliability: 3).

    3. [S1602] Social Security Death Index,, (Name: Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2011.Original data - Social Security Administration. Social Security Death Index, Master File. Social Security Administration.Original data: Social Security Administration. Social Security D;).

    4. [S1384] Massachusetts Birth Index.

    5. [S1060] Obituary, for Leona (Reliability: 3).