Friday, August 21, 2009


In memoriam Ray Roberts, editor, ex-Viking, Henry Holt and Little Brown

LOOKING AHEAD by Wally Dobelis

Ray Roberts, 71, editor of John Fowles, Thomas Pynchon, Martha Grimes and many other authors, passed away on August 12, 2009. His friends at 201 East 17th Street, NY NY 10003 will long remewber him as a cheerful and urbane companion, and a genuine friend in need. Your condolences, addressed as above, will be forwarded.

Ray Roberts was a special, generous, and longtime friend of mine ... and I am greatly saddened at the news of his death. We enjoyed many wonderful times, and I will always remember the twist of his smile and his half-closed eyes as he exercised one of his special witticisms. He had a highly discriminating eye, loved the written word, and was an enthusiastic student of life. I will greatly miss his company.

Edward A. Schimmelpfennig
Chicago, Illinois
Ray Roberts was my editor at Viking, acquiring my first four books before he left. I kept waiting for the right event, the right good news to call him up and share with him. I didn't learn until today, that that moment had long passed.

I always believed I'd be working with him again, and have another of those great writer/editor conversations. So long, Ray. I'll miss you.
This is quite belated yet nonetheless heartfelt. I worked with Ray for 8 years at Little, Brown. When my job as associate editor was "eliminated," most of the senior editors never even bothered to acknowledge my situation. Ray, on the other hand, was kind and compassionate. I'll never forget him. What a classy, good guy.
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I'm currently (2021) working on a biography of Ray Roberts and would like to speak with anyone who knew Ray personally. He was an amazing man and it's surprising that so little is known about him. I'm trying to correct this while at the same time respecting his strong desire for privacy both during his lifetime and after his death. Thanks, Tim.
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