Famed Parisian bookseller and BU alum George Whitman dies


George Whitman reads outside his Shakespeare and Co. bookstore in 2007. Photos by Jim Donnelly and Ard van der Leeuw

CFA salutes George Whitman (COM’35, SMG’35), who died at 98 shortly before Christmas, founded Shakespeare and Company, a harbor for any writer from expatriate celebrities to drug-addled wannabes, in 1951. Bracketed by the Seine and Notre-Dame, the store, named after the French bookshop that was the Jazz Age haunt of Hemingway and Fitzgerald, attracted its own literary glitterati for readings and book signings, among them Nin, Henry Miller, James Baldwin, Samuel Beckett, William Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg.

His generosity and kindness will be remembered by his family, countless friends, writers, fellow bibliophiles and anyone lucky enough to meet him.

Our sympathy to the Whitman  family.

Sylvia Beach Whitman, George’s daughter, will continue to run the shop.

Photo and some content from BU Today.