George T. Delacorte, Jr.
Businessperson, Organization founder
1894 – 1991
Who was George T. Delacorte, Jr.?
George T. Delacorte, Jr. founded the Dell Publishing Company in 1921. His goal was to entertain readers who were not satisfied with the genteel publications available at the time. The company was one of the largest publishers of books, magazines, and comics during its heyday. His most successful innovation was the puzzle magazine.
An alumnus of Columbia University, he donated money to the university which established the Delacorte Professorship in the Humanities and helped found the George T. Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism and the creation of the Delacorte Professorship in Magazine Journalism in 1984. The university recognized him with an honorary doctorate in 1982.
In 1962, he donated money to establish the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, New York City. He also donated money for the George Delacorte Musical Clock in the park, a sculpture of Alice in Wonderland, sculptures of The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet, and a fountain in City Hall Plaza.
He died in Manhattan in 1991 at the age of 97, survived by his second wife Valerie Delacorte, two sons, three daughters, 18 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. His siblings included Eugene Tonkonogy.
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