French publisher Jean-Manuel Bourgois, who became the youngest president of the French Publishers Association when he was 40, died February 19, the Bookseller reported. He was 78. Geoff Staines, his oldest and best friend, said Bourgois "was gifted with a fiercely analytical mind abetted by a prodigious memory, and was also a master storyteller with a wicked sense of humour. He was devoted to his family, loved nothing better than to cook for a large gathering, and was a talented photographer. He will be deeply missed by friends and colleagues alike."
Bourgois entered the world of French publishing in his mid-30s "when he was headhunted from Ediscience, the scientific publishing company he founded aged 29 and later sold to McGraw-Hill, to become the CEO of Bordas/Dunod, a major educational publisher," the Bookseller noted. He went on to head up the Groupe de la Cité publishing group, and later a series of mid-sized indies.
In addition to supporting Bibliothèques sans Frontières, Bourgois was involved in promoting the efforts of the Khan Academy, and taught part of the Publishing Masters curriculum in Paris. He also chaired the European Publishers Association, as well as a working committee on new technology at the International Publishers Association.