Peter Possum

In the 1960s, Grolier Enterprises was run by four dynamos: Founder Elsworth (The Shark) Howell, whose real love was judging dog shows; Vice President Bob Clarke, who started in the Grolier mail room; Vice President of Marketing Ed Bakal, a rough-hewn ex-paratrooper; and Vice President of Creative Lew Smith, a low-key, creative genius. Grolier’s business at the time was selling Dr. Seuss books to kids. The competition was Weekly Reader Book Club and Scholastic’s paperback book clubs, which sold books to students in classrooms through the teacher. Using the Scholastic paperback model, a guy named Joe Archy started the Willie Whale Book Club. Howell watched it

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