Walter Zacharius (Oct. 16, 1923 - March 2, 2011) was the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Kensington Publishing.
Walter Zacharius grew up in Borough Park, Brooklyn, served in World War II and was with the French when they liberated Paris in August 1944. He was just nineteen years old at the time. He attended New York University on the GI Bill.
After returning to the United States, he found a job working on magazines like True Confessions and True Story before he helped create Ace Double Novels, a paperback line that offered two books in one volume. Walter Zacharius merged from the world of true-confession magazines and paperback genre fiction to co-found Kensington Publishing in 1974.
Kensington Publishing expanded the romance genre to embrace paranormal romance, adult Western romance and romance titles aimed at Hispanic, black and gay readers.
A noted philanthropist, Walter established scholarships for students who wanted to study music but don't have the financial means. He also sponsored the Harlem RBI Little League Team and provided numerous college scholarships in and around New York City for members of the RBI team and young men and women who want to embark upon a career in publishing. Walter was active in a number of Jewish organizations, especially as a longtime supporter and former Chair of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA). In 1994, he was invited to the Vatican by His Holiness Pope John Paul II to attend a special concert in Commemoration of the Shoah, the Jewish Holocaust. Walter served as a benefactor and organizer of this historic concert.
An avid world traveler, Walter was also an art collector, musician, athlete, and adventurer who went skydiving for the first time at the age of 65. A New York City resident, before his death he started a Los Angeles-based movie production company to produce independent films and was working on an outline for his next book.
Walter Zacharius died on March 2, 2011. He was 87.
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