Ed Victor

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Edward Victor CBE (born 1939 in the Bronx, New York City) is a prominent literary agent.


Victor is the son of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, who ran a photographic equipment store. After graduating from Dartmouth College, in 1961 Victor attended the University of Cambridge on a Marshall scholarship.[1]

Publishing editor[edit]

Victor married Englishwoman Michelene Samuels (now known as the writer Michelene Wandor) in 1963, and making their home in London the couple had two children. Victor worked for publishing house the Oborne Press, then part of Lord Beaverbrook's Express Newspapers group. He then worked on coffee table books for Weidenfeld and Nicolson. After approaching Lord Weidenfeld in the toilet, he was moved to general publishing, looking after the works of Saul Bellow and Vladimir Nabokov.[1]

In 1970 his marriage ended in divorce, and wanting a new challenge Victor co-founded countercultural newspaper Ink (May 1971–February 1972)[2] with Oz founders Felix Dennis and Richard Neville. Conflict about what Ink should be led to its failure, and Victor returned to the United States to work for Knopf.[1]

Literary agent[edit]

Victor married his second wife, lawyer Carol Ryan, and after a year travelling they made their main home in London to be close to Victor's children.[3] Victor was one of the first former journalist/editors to make the move to be a publishing agent, when in the 1970s literary agents were not welcomed by British publishers. However, many changed their minds when Victor's first sale in 1976[4] was for the book and film rights to Stephen Shephard's novel The Four Hundred for $1.5m. In 2005 Victor's client John Banville won the Booker Prize. The following day Victor sold Eric Clapton's memoirs for $4 million.[1]

Victor no longer takes "blind" scripts sent to him, instead gaining clients through personal reference. In 2003 Victor and his wife were named second on Tatler's list of the most invited guests in London, behind Elton John.[1]

He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to literature.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Still married to second wife Carol Ryan, the couple live mainly in London, with a secondary home in the Hamptons. The couple have a son Ryan, and Victor has sons Adam and Ivan from his first marriage. In 2002 Victor suffered from an attack of viral pneumonia, but is now fully recovered.[1]

In 2002 Victor published his first book, The Obvious Diet - Your Personal Way to Lose Weight Fast Without Changing Your Lifestyle, through Ebury Press and Arcade Publishing.[6][7]

Victor was Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Almeida Theatre, a Trustee of the Arts Foundation and of the Hay Festival, a founding director of the Groucho Club.

Selected clients[edit]

From official website[8]

Former clients include Will Self and Erica Jong.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Stephanie Merritt, "The Mr Big of publishing", The Observer profile, 11 March 2007.
  2. ^ "Ink" at rock'sbackpages library.
  3. ^ David Barnett, "Ed Victor – an honoured literary agent", The Guardian, 31 December 2015.
  4. ^ Ed Victor Ltd
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 61450. p. N10. 30 December 2015.
  6. ^ Arcade Publishing
  7. ^ CNN.com - Transcripts
  8. ^ Clients, Ed Victor Ltd.

External links[edit]