Morton L. Janklow

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Morton Lloyd Janklow (born May 30, 1930) is the primary partner in Janklow & Nesbit Associates, the largest literary agency in the world. Clients include Barbara Taylor Bradford, Judith Krantz, Danielle Steel, Sidney Sheldon, Thomas Harris, Barbara Walters, Anne Rice, four U.S. presidents and Pope John Paul II.


Janklow was born in New York City.[1] After years as a corporate lawyer, Janklow became a literary agent in 1972, when his friend and client, William Safire, asked him to handle a book he was writing about Richard Nixon. Janklow created tremendous attention for the book by requiring editors to come to his office and not allowing any pages to leave the room; according to him, “We ended up getting a huge sum, unheard of at the time for nonfiction.”

He ushered in a new era in authors’ rights when he successfully sued publisher William Morrow and Company for violating their contract. According to him, “they said, ‘You can’t force a publisher to print a book; that’s never been done’ ... we took the publisher out of the captain’s seat and put the author in it. The publisher is replaceable; the author is not."[2]” Another version of this story emphasized Janklow's role in changing the standard publishing agreement to be more fair for authors. Janklow is quoted as saying "I'm not trying to force the publisher to publish the book. I'm just trying to force the publisher to pay for it."[3]

Janklow is a partner with the law firm Janklow, Newborn & Ashley in New York City. In 1982, he founded the Morton L. Janklow Program for Advocacy in the Arts at Columbia University and later established the Morton L. Janklow Professorship of Literary and Artistic Property Law; Janklow also teaches in the program. Janklow's current partnership with Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit Associates, was formed in 1989.[4]


Janklow graduated from Syracuse University in 1950. He earned his law degree from Columbia in 1953. He is married to Linda, the daughter of Mervyn LeRoy and granddaughter of Harry Warner.[5]


  1. ^ Marquis 1991, p. 521
  2. ^ "Columbia Law School Publishing". Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  3. ^ Gladwell 2010
  4. ^ Ferrari-Adler 2008
  5. ^ Morrisroe 1987


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