Frederick Leypoldt was born in 1835 in Stuttgart, Germany, his name at birth being Jakob Friedrich Ferdinand Leupold. Leypoldt had an early liking for the drama and books, and when a boy wrote a play, which he offered unsuccessfully to German managers. He left school in 1851, and in 1854, emigrated to the United States, where he simplified his name to Frederick Leypoldt. He entered the service of a bookseller in New York, who, in 1859, helped him to establish himself in business in Philadelphia. There Leypoldt opened a bookstore and reading room, and in 1863 he began to publish, first translations of foreign books, and afterward foreign text-books with English notes. In January, 1866, with Henry Holt, he established the publishing firm of Leypoldt and Holt, permanently moving his residence to New York.
The firm of Leypoldt and Holt continued, but in 1868 Leypoldt decided to devote himself personally to bibliographical work. The monthly Literary Bulletin, his first periodical, which he established in 1868, became in 1870 the Trade Circular. In January 1872, the Trade Circular absorbed George W. Childs's Publishers' Circular and was issued weekly, in 1873 becoming the Publishers Weekly. Leypoldt published an American Catalogue for 1869, and in 1876 he began work on the American catalogue proper, which was completed in 1880. His Publishers' Uniform Trade-List Annual was begun in 1873, the Literary News in 1875, the Library Journal in 1876, and the Index Medicus, a monthly medical bibliography, in 1880. Most of these publications were continued by his friend Richard Rogers Bowkers after his untimely death in 1883 (Bowker having purchasaed Publishers Weekly from him in 1878).
Leypoldt was among the founders of the American Book-Trade Union in 1875, and of the American Library Association in 1876. Under the anagram of “F. Pylodet” he edited a successful series of French textbooks, and he wrote also some German verse and some translations into German.
- Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1892). "Leypoldt, Frederick". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
- Samuel Swett Green (1913). The public library movement in the United States, 1853-1893.