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Michael Black: 7 June 1928 – 16 June 2022

We are sad to report that Michael Black, former University Publisher, and one of the chief architects of the modern Cambridge University Press, has died at 94.

Michael Black, former University Publisher, who has died aged 94
Michael Black

Michael joined the Press in 1951 and rose to become Chief Editor, Editorial Director and ultimately University Publisher before his retirement in 1987.

A hugely influential figure in the formation of Cambridge's modern academic publishing business, Michael was also the author of Cambridge University Press 1584-1984; A Short History of Cambridge University Press; and Learning To Be A Publisher: Cambridge University Press 1951-1987, Personal Reminiscences.

Throughout his career, Michael’s special interest was in developing the Press's English Literature list and among the many achievements of Cambridge publishing in his time was the edition of the complete works of D.H. Lawrence. Michael also wrote four books on Lawrence along with other works of literary criticism.

An Emeritus Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, he died on 16 June, shortly after his 94th birthday.

Kevin Taylor, Director of Syndicate Affairs for Cambridge University Press & Assessment, who overlapped with Michael at the Press from 1984 to 1987, said: “Michael was a towering figure in the history of the modern Press. Moreover, as one if its historians, he has left us a wonderful record of that history.

“The organisation has changed a great deal since he retired in 1987, and there are parts of it he wouldn’t recognise, but his imprint on other parts remains firm. Work practices and principles he introduced still prevail, especially in relation to our academic publishing.”