My Friend and Publishing Leader Manie Barron Passed away Saturday

Emanuel Joseph Barron (December 7, 1955 to January 8, 2011)

A few close friends of mine and I visited Manie one month ago.   Manie had been battling cancer for some time and felt well enough to host a group of people.  We were all looking forward to seeing him.  I was prepared to see a shell of a man, but was pleasantly surprised to see good ‘ole Manie again. 

Manie was slimmer and his voice had lost some of it’s bass, but his easy smile and “tell it like it is” wit actually did me more good than than I’m sure I did him.  It was good to see him.  Selfishly, I even looked forward to the day when we could share a drink or two again.  The possibility that day would never come did not cross my mind.

It was a pleasure to know Manie and I’m better for the experience. Peace Brother.

Manie Barron Memorial Service  

Saturday, 11:00 AM
February 5, 2011
St. Bartholomew’s Church
325 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022 


It is with deep sorrow that the family and friends of Manie Barron announce his death from a hemorrhage the morning of Saturday, January 8, 2011 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he was being treated for lung cancer. 

Manie, whose full name was Emanuel Joseph Barron, was born on December 7, 1955, in Harlem, New York, to Joseph K. Barron and Harriet F. Smith. He is survived by his wife, Wendalyn R. Nichols; daughter, Veronica Grace Nichols Barron, 7; niece Raven T. Barron; and great-nephew Messiah M. Barron, 8. He is predeceased by his parents and by his sister, Charmaine. 

Manie began his nearly three-decade career in publishing as a bookseller at the Doubleday bookstore at South Street Seaport in Manhattan. He became a buyer for Golden Lee book distributors, from where he was recruited as a founding member of the Random House telephone sales team. He transitioned from sales to editorial, laying the foundation for what would become the Striver’s Row imprint at Random House, before moving on to HarperCollins, where he was publishing manager of the Amistad imprint. He then spent three years as a literary agent with the William Morris Agency before partnering with Claudia Menza in the Menza Barron Agency.  

A memorial celebration is planned for early February, details of which will be released later. A college scholarship fund has been established for Manie’s daughter, Veronica. To contribute, please send a check made out to: 

Veronica Grace Nichols Barron
c/o Carrie Kania at HarperCollins
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022

  • Linda “Wredd” Watkins

    My prayers at with Manie’s family. May they find comfort in each other and the knowledge that he was loved by many. Peace be with them!

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  • I was just notified by a good friend in NY of this sad news as I’m living in Las Vegas now. I spoke to Manny while he was still at the agency a few years ago while I was trying to help someone get published. I had no idea he was ill. I thank God for all Manny’s life. He accomplished much in his career. He leaves a legacy of hard work, good will and joy-filled memories. I’m very grateful to have shared some good times in the world of books with him.

  • Paul Coates


    Mannie will be missed. He was an inspiration to us all. His rise through mainstream publishing with its many challenges was watched and noted by all. His experience served as a real touch, feel an see example that the walls could be breached. To the family thank you for sharing Manning.
    (correction to above)

    • Paul your son’s article, about Manie, in the Atlantic was terrific.

  • Wendy Manie’s wife is Blogging here: (

    Associated Press Article:

    The NY Times obituary :

    GalleyCat Article:

  • An excellent article written by By Ta-Nehisi Coates and Chris Jackson about Manie Barron and Blacks in publishing:

  • Please forgive my carelessness when typing Manie’s name in my comment above. I saw it later but found no way to correct it at the time. Thanks Paul, for providing a reason for this additional post. TB

  • Manie was my agent before he was unceremoniously fired from William Morris–the only black agent, of course because he wasn’t meeting their financial quota. I believe that this brutal business takes its toll on black people and felt with all my heart that the actions of the “factory” were unjust. I was new in the business as an author–and now know what black professionals-authors, agents, editors, etc.–in publishing are up against–unbelievable obstacles. Manie was a fantastic person and I hope to have a caring agent again one day.

  • Nikki B.

    Hi. I would like to thank everyone who has commented such kind things, and especially Troy for writing this great article. Daddy would’ve appreciated it greatly. I have just mustered up the strength to go through all the articles written about my dad and seeing the fact that this was five years ago I think just broke me again. Thank you to all who supported my dad in every way.

    • @disqus_IpzDnW4g68:disqus your dad was a very cool dude and it sounds like you are chip off the ‘ole Black. Here is a video I shot of your dad back in 2010, it exemplifies his the tell it like it is attitude tempered with a caring nature. side:

      • Nikki B.

        I haven’t heard his voice in years this is amazing thank you so so much!