BHUBANESWAR: Sonny Mehta, internationally acclaimed editor-publisher, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Knopf Doubleday and brother-in law of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik passed away on Tuesday. He was 76.
Sonny was married to well-known writer Gita Mehta, Naveen's elder sister. He was ill for a brief period. The end came at about 6 pm New York time. His last rites would be conducted in New York. The Chief Minister took to Twitter to express his grief. “I am deeply grieved by the passing away of my brother-in-law Sonny Mehta (husband of my sister Gita Mehta).
He was one of the world’s best editors and an extremely civilized person. May his soul rest in peace,” Naveen tweeted. Mehta studied at the Sanawar School in India and the Sevenoaks School in UK, where he won an open scholarship to Cambridge University.
I am deeply grieved by the passing away of my brother in law Sonny Mehta ( Husband of my sister Gita Mehta). He was one of the world's best editors and an extremely civilized person. May his soul rest in peace.— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) December 31, 2019
The son of a diplomat, he is credited with starting the Paladin and Picador publishing houses. Naveen spent most of his time in the youth with Gita and Sonny, who have literary activities across the world. Sonny was a publishing giant and had a lot of contribution towards global literary world. Every winter, Sonny and Gita would come to India to stay in Delhi and Bhubaneswar.
Last year, prime minister Narendra Modi had hosted them for tea during their India trip. Mehta had won Lifetime Achievement Awards for publishing in India, UK and United States. He was also named 2015 Person of the Year by Publishers Weekly. Sonny began his publishing career way back in 1965 in London at Rupert Hart-Davis and then joined Granda Publishing in 1966 to co-found a new publishing house, Paladin.
Besides, Mehta was instrumental in bringing iconic American writers to the UK public. After moving to Pan Books in 1972, Biju Babu’s son-in-law also published books of best-selling authors by publishing writers who went on to become household names such as Jackie Collins and Duoglas Adams.