Stephen Rubin, 'The Da Vinci Code' Publisher and Music Aficionado, Passes at 81


Stephen Rubin, 'The Da Vinci Code' Publisher and Music Aficionado, Passes at 81
© Beautiful Soundtracks/YouTube

Stephen Rubin's profound impact on the publishing world has been universally recognized. The esteemed publishing executive, who boasted a keen eye for bestsellers, played a pivotal role in launching the careers of renowned authors, including John Grisham.

Rubin's legacy is further embellished with the release of monumental works such as 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Fire and Fury' At the age of 81, Rubin passed away in a Manhattan hospital following a brief illness. His dynamic presence in the book publishing sector was undeniably marked by his distinct raspy voice, iconic tortoiseshell glasses, and impeccable sartorial choices.

Throughout his illustrious career, Rubin mingled with a wide spectrum of notable figures, from the elegant Jacqueline Kennedy to the accomplished Beverly Sills. The publishing magnate's spacious West Side apartment was often the hub for unforgettable gatherings, and Rubin was famously the epicenter for industry gossip.

Jane Friedman Recalls Rubin's Tenacity

Jane Friedman, the ex-CEO of HarperCollins Publishers, remembered Rubin with fondness, noting how his presence was invariably commanding. Rubin's decisiveness was legendary; once his mind was made, nothing could alter his stance.

Before his epoch-making contributions to the publishing industry, Rubin was a journalist for The New York Times. His journey into publishing began in the 1980s, and he subsequently ascended to prominent roles at Doubleday and Henry Holt and Company.

Most recently, Rubin provided his expertise as a consultant for Simon & Schuster. Among Rubin's prolific achievements, standouts include the hugely successful 'Killing' history series, Laura Esquivel's enchanting 'Like Water for Chocolate', and the critically acclaimed 'Bring Up the Bodies' by Hilary Mantel.

He also had the foresight to support former President George W. Bush's 'Decision Points' during a time when Bush was a polarizing figure. Rubin's masterstroke, however, came during the early '90s with Doubleday's release of 'The Firm' by John Grisham, setting the tone for courtroom dramas.

Grisham acknowledged Rubin's genius, praising his loyalty, generosity, and insightful opinions. Another remarkable chapter in Rubin's career was championing Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code', which skyrocketed in sales, propelling even Brown's earlier novels to the bestsellers list.

Rubin's career wasn't just about bestsellers. He also shared a profound love for music, primarily opera. Alongside his late wife, Cynthia, he passionately supported the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, significantly impacting classical music journalism.

Despite his numerous contributions, Rubin once humorously remarked that his obituary might simply read, 'Publisher of The Da Vinci Code dies' Yet, as the world mourns his passing, it's evident that his legacy spans far beyond just one novel.