W. Drake McFeely
W.W. Norton and Company, Inc.
W. Drake McFeely has made his entire career at W. W. Norton and Company, founded in 1923 and today the largest independent publisher wholly owned by its employees. Hired as a college traveler upon graduation from Amherst College in 1976, he was promoted to assistant sales manager in 1980 and within a year had also become an editor. Named a vice president in 1990, he served as associate director of the college department from 1993-94 and in 1994 was named Norton’s fifth president. He has been a member of Norton’s Board of Directors since 1990 and is today that board’s chairman.
Since Drake McFeely’s appointment as president, Norton’s college department has expanded from its traditional base in the humanities across the social sciences and into the sciences. Books such as Earth: Portrait of A Planet by Stephen Marshak and Clark Larsen’s Our Origins: Discovering Physical Anthropology now bookend The Norton Anthology of English Literature and The Enjoyment of Music. Meanwhile, Norton’s trade department has published bestsellers including Boomerang, Moneyball, and The Blind Side by Michael Lewis, The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III, and the novels of Patrick O’Brian. During these years Norton has been showered with literary awards, including nine Pulitzer Prizes to Jared Diamond, John W. Dower, Stephen Dunn, William Taubman, Edmund S. Morgan, John Matteson, Annette Gordon-Reed, Eric Foner, and Stephen Greenblatt; and seven National Book Awards to John W. Dower, Annette Gordon-Reed, and Stephen Greenblatt, again, as well as Stanley Kunitz, Andrea Barrett, Gerald Stern, and Ai.