“A life lived to the full”, Philip Kogan remembered at packed funeral

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From The Bookseller:

Family, friends, and colleagues from across the trade gathered at Golders Green Crematorium last week (18th January) to pay tribute and say farewell to Kogan Page founder Philip Kogan, who died on Christmas Eve aged 92. Eulogies were read by his three children, including current Kogan Page m.d. Helen Kogan, who described her father as “an extraordinary man” who had lived life to the full.

There was standing room only at the Chapel—and party thereafter, held at The York and Albany Hotel—with trade attendees including Richard Charkin, Bridget Shine, David Taylor, Jonathan Nowell, Tony Mulliken. Toby Faber, Gloria Bailey, Ian Taylor, Jo Howard, Nicholas Brealey, Alan Leitch, Kyle Cathie, Anne Dolamore, John Davies, Philip Cotterell, David Hicks, and John Parke. 

One tribute described him as having “written the agenda for independent publishing over the late 20th century”. He was variously described as cantankerous, gruff and prickly, but under it all remembered also as “kind and thoughtful” with a willingness to share information—a true “original”, as one tribute put it. His children talked of his love for classical music, his approach to DIY and gardening, his publishing business, his generosity, and his fondness for “the buzz”, manifesting in publishing and family parties, or simply nights out.

His early life in the East End of London was recalled, as was his first career as a scientist, ultimately rejecting the safety of steady job progression for the riskier pursuits of books and independent publishing, supported throughout by his wife Gillian. Business book publisher Kogan Page was founded in 1967, with journalist Terry Page.

Helen Kogan said: “Dad didn’t split the personal and professional, He made lifelong friendships with fellow publishers and colleagues and the company became inseparable from the family’s life.” Kogan said she had asked her mother, Gillian, what had drawn Kogan into publishing, and she had responded that as a research physicist he might have one eureka moment every 10 years, but as a publisher he could have one every day. He was always way ahead of everyone, added Kogan, but he allowed his team space to turn these eureka moments into reality. “His energy was a magnet,” she recalled, remembering the moment she joined the family firm and could experience it first hand.

“He could be hard work, demanding, and got frustrated easily. Something of the East End boy still remained. His irreverence certainly rubbed some people up the wrong way, but those who got him, really got him. He loved the idea of being an independent and seeing others being successful in building their own companies. At the end of day, publishing aside, he was also a loving husband, a challenging and brilliant father, and a doting grandfather. He was loved and he loved us: [it was] an extraordinary life, a life lived to the full. We shall miss him more than words can say.”

Link to the rest at The Bookseller