McClelland, John Gordon

John Gordon McClelland, "Jack," publisher (b at Toronto 30 July 1922; d at Toronto 14 June 2004). Educated at U of T, he joined the navy in 1941 and volunteered for duty on a motor torpedo boat; promoted captain of MTB 747 in 1944, he saw action in the English Channel. He joined MCCLELLAND & STEWART (founded by his father John McClelland, Sr, in 1906), became executive vice-president in 1952 and president in 1961. He transformed the company into English Canada's best-known publishing house by encouraging, supporting and publishing Canadian writers such as Farley MOWAT, Irving LAYTON, Margaret LAURENCE, Leonard COHEN, Mordecai RICHLER, Margaret ATWOOD, Brian MOORE and others.

He published many Canadian best-sellers, such as Pierre Berton's The National Dream (1970) and Peter C. Newman's The Canadian Establishment (1975). McClelland stepped down as president in 1982, sold the firm to Avie BENNETT in 1985 and left the company in February 1987. He continued to work as a literary agent. McClelland became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1976.