Leo Cooper

Leo Cooper, whose death was announced on November 29, was one of two singular figures in late twentieth century military publishing. The imprint he founded, which launched many author’s careers, evolved in its final version to become Pen and Sword Books, Casemate’s first and now largest distribution client.

Here is a link to an excellent obituary in The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/dec/03/leo-cooper

I have a number of memories of meetingsĀ  with Leo, particularly when I was working for Lionel Leventhal’s Greenhill Books in the early 1990s (Lionel and Leo were “somewhat competitive” ) and I was responsible for selling Leo’s books as part of Greenhill’s sales repping activities in London. One time I was hauled up for a 10am meeting to explain some lackluster sales performance. On arrival at Leo’s office, I was handed a glass (and then several more) of Bergerac which was what appeared to be needed to get through that awkward hour before the pubs opened and one could have a proper gin and tonic. This was followed by a lengthy lunch and then a train home at the end of a liquid day. At some point the sales would have been alluded to, but only tangentially (can’t spoil a good lunch talking about business).

I don’t quite know how Leo kept up the pace – but he did, and some!

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