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Benjamin Brooks Thomas (November 28, 1931 – February 5, 2010) was an American lawyer and executive of Harper & Row.

Benjamin Brooks Thomas
Born(1931-11-28)November 28, 1931
DiedFebruary 5, 2010(2010-02-05) (aged 78)
San Diego, California, United States
Cause of deathBrain injury caused by falling
Alma materYale Law School
OccupationLawyer, executive

Thomas joined Harper & Row in 1968.[1]

Brooks Thomas married Kiono K (Tucciarone) Thomas on October 7, 2004. Kiono Thomas still resides in NYC and is currently working at Brown Harris Stevens Residential Real Estate. She serves on the Board of Young Audiences New York (founded 1952) and is Secretary of Board of Luzerne Music Center, Lake Luzerne, NY.


Early careerEdit

Thomas graduated from Yale in 1953 and received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1956. Afterwards he served as an intelligence officer on the USS Essex for the U.S. Navy.[1]

After leaving the Navy, Thomas joined Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts, now known as Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.[2] After leaving Winthrop, Thomas joined Harper & Row.

Harper & RowEdit

At Harper & Row Thomas served as vice president, CEO, president, and chief executive. During this time, Harper & Row sued The Nation over its publication of President Gerald Ford's memoirs in a case that challenged fair use in copyright law. Harper & Row prevailed before the Supreme Court.

Thomas was president of the Association of American Publishers (as well as Harper & Row) in 1983 when that group voted to fund a revamped version of American Book Awards, ending a four-year experiment on the Academy Awards model. For 1984 the number of awards was cut from 27 to three.[3][4]

Later life and deathEdit

After leaving Harper & Row, Thomas devoted himself to several charities. These included Outward Bound, the educational organization that promotes self-discovery in the outdoors. He became a trustee of Outward Bound USA in 1980, serving as its chairman from 1984 to 1987. He was a trustee of Outward Bound International from 1997 to 2003, and in 2000 he became a trustee of Outward Bound’s Expeditionary Learning Schools. Thomas was also involved with Young Audiences, a national organization that provides arts programs to schools. Additionally, Thomas was chairman of the Vail Valley Institute, which holds seminars on public issues.[1]

Brooks Thomas died in San Diego from complications of a brain injury after a fall that he had suffered several weeks earlier. At the time, he was on his way to San Francisco to attend an Outward Bound board meeting.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d William Grimes (February 10, 2010). "Brooks Thomas, Publishing Executive at Harper & Row, Dies at 78". The New York Times.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Publishing: New Life for American Book Awards", Edwin McDowell, The New York Times, November 4, 1983, page C28. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007).
  4. ^ "11 Nominated for American Book Awards", Edwin McDowell, The New York Times, October 18, 1984, page C25. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007).