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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


Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.