Bruce Robertson, founder and managing director of the Diagram Group – sponsors of the Diagram Group Prize for the Oddest Title – has died.
Robertson died suddenly on Friday (21st March) in hospital after collapsing at his home. He had suffered poor health for a number of years.
A statement from the company said: "The Diagram Group started from small beginnings in the 1960s, a design and artwork partnership with the late Bob Chapman joined shortly after by Trevor Bounford, and grew to be a successful book packager with publishing clients in countries around the world. For many years partnered by his wife, Patricia, his was a striking presence at the London and Frankfurt Book Fairs – a Union Jack tie, black beret, wild beard and colourful personality creating an unforgettable impression on friends and strangers. He was highly regarded by those who got to know him.
"He always claimed that his proudest achievement with the Diagram Group was the publication of a Japanese edition of Woman’s Body: An Owner’s Manual – in braille complete with charts, 'thus enabling blind Japanese women to know what goes on in their bodies'. In recent years he had authored a series of books in his own idiosyncratic writing style based on a vast repertoire of anecdotes gleaned from his life in publishing and his many travels to far flung places with Pat. He was a creative inspiration and a man of great integrity – in his work and in his personal life. He will be greatly missed."
Robertson and Bounford together dreamed up the idea of the Diagram Prize, which made its most recent annual award on Friday (21st).
A memorial service will be announced at a later date.