Michael Korda
Michael Korda is a writer and novelist who was editor-in-Chief of Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster, Inc., a division of CBS Corporation, is a publisher founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster. It is one of the four largest English-language publishers, alongside Random House, Penguin and HarperCollins...

 in New York City.

Early Years

Michael Korda is the son of English actress Gertrude Musgrove and artist and film production designer Vincent Korda
Vincent Korda
Vincent Korda was a Hungarian-born art director, later settling in Britain. Born in Túrkeve in the then Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was the younger brother of Alexander and Zoltán Korda. He was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning once.He died in London, England...

 and the nephew of Hungarian
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

-born film magnate Sir Alexander Korda
Alexander Korda
Sir Alexander Korda was a Hungarian-born British producer and film director. He was a leading figure in the British film industry, the founder of London Films and the owner of British Lion Films, a film distributing company.-Life and career:The elder brother of filmmakers Zoltán Korda and Vincent...

 and brother Zoltan
Zoltán Korda
Zoltan Korda was a Hungarian-born motion picture screenwriter, director and producer.Born Zoltán Kellner, Kellner Zoltán in Hungarian name order, of Jewish heritage in Pusztatúrpásztó, Túrkeve in Hungary , he was the middle brother of filmmakers Alexander and Vincent Korda.Zoltan Korda went to...

. Korda grew up in England but received part of his education in France where his father had worked with film director Marcel Pagnol
Marcel Pagnol
Marcel Pagnol was a French novelist, playwright, and filmmaker. In 1946, he became the first filmmaker elected to the Académie Française.-Biography:...

. He was schooled at the private Institut Le Rosey
Institut Le Rosey
Institut Le Rosey, commonly referred to as Le Rosey or simply Rosey, is a school, in Gstaad, Switzerland. It is described as one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the world. The school was founded by Paul-Émile Carnal in 1880 on the site of the 14th-century Château du Rosey near the town...

 in Switzerland and read History at Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College, Oxford
Magdalen College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. As of 2006 the college had an estimated financial endowment of £153 million. Magdalen is currently top of the Norrington Table after over half of its 2010 finalists received first-class degrees, a record...

. He served in the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...



While in his early twenties, he moved to New York City where he was employed by playwright Sidney Kingsley
Sidney Kingsley
Sidney Kingsley was an American dramatist. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Men in White in 1934.- Biography :...

 as a research assistant. In 1958 he joined the book publishing firm, Simon & Schuster, starting as an assistant editor, which included the task of reading "slush pile" manuscript
A manuscript or handwrite is written information that has been manually created by someone or some people, such as a hand-written letter, as opposed to being printed or reproduced some other way...

s. He became Editor-in-Chief of the company and was a major figure in the book industry, publishing numerous works by high-profile writers and personalities such as William L. Shirer
William L. Shirer
William Lawrence Shirer was an American journalist, war correspondent, and historian, who wrote The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, a history of Nazi Germany read and cited in scholarly works for more than 50 years...

, Will
Will Durant
William James Durant was a prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher. He is best known for The Story of Civilization, 11 volumes written in collaboration with his wife Ariel Durant and published between 1935 and 1975...

 and Ariel Durant
Ariel Durant
Ariel Durant was the co-author of The Story of Civilization.-Biography:Durant was born in Proskurov as Chaya Kaufman to Ethel Appel Kaufman and Joseph Kaufman. The family emigrated to the United States in 1901. She met her future husband, Will Durant, while a student at Ferrer Modern School in...

, Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

. However, from a commercial point of view, Korda is best noted for pioneering best-selling novels by authors such as Jacqueline Susann
Jacqueline Susann
Jacqueline Susann was an American author known for her best-selling novels. Her most notable work was Valley of the Dolls, a book that broke sales records and spawned an Oscar-nominated 1967 film and a short-lived TV series.-Early years:Jacqueline Susann was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to...

 and Harold Robbins
Harold Robbins
Harold Robbins was one of the best-selling American authors of all time. During his career, he wrote over 25 best-sellers, selling over 750 million copies in 32 languages....

 that in the 1960s were considered very daring.

Michael Korda was a major part of Simon & Schuster for more than forty years and one of the most influential people in the business of book publishing. In the autumn of 1994, he was diagnosed as having prostate cancer
Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. The cancer cells may metastasize from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly...

. In 1997 he wrote Man to Man, which recounted his medical experience. In 2000, he published Another Life: A Memoir of Other People, about the world of publishing.

Among Korda's better-known books are Charmed Lives, which was a memoir about his life with his father and uncle, and the novel Queenie
Queenie (miniseries)
-Background:In April 1985 Korda published Queenie, a roman à clef about his aunt, actress Merle Oberon, who had married his uncle Alexander Korda. Queenie Kelley is an extremely beautiful girl of Indian and Irish descent, fair enough to pass for white...

, which is a roman a clef
Roman à clef
Roman à clef or roman à clé , French for "novel with a key", is a phrase used to describe a novel about real life, overlaid with a façade of fiction. The fictitious names in the novel represent real people, and the "key" is the relationship between the nonfiction and the fiction...

 about his aunt Merle Oberon
Merle Oberon
Merle Oberon was an Indian-born British actress best known for her screen performances in The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Cowboy and the Lady . She began her film career in British films as Anne Boleyn in The Private Life of Henry VIII . She travelled to the United States to make films for Samuel...

. The latter was adapted into a TV miniseries
A miniseries , in a serial storytelling medium, is a television show production which tells a story in a limited number of episodes. The exact number is open to interpretation; however, they are usually limited to fewer than a whole season. The term "miniseries" is generally a North American term...


Private Life

Michael Korda married first wife Carolyn Keese in 1958 and had one son, Chris Korda
Chris Korda
Chris Korda is the leader of the Church of Euthanasia, antinatalist, techno musician and software developer . Korda is a cross-gendered vegetarian and the only progeny of Simon & Schuster editor and author, Michael Korda...

, the leader of the controversial Church of Euthanasia
Church of Euthanasia
The Church of Euthanasia , is a political organization started by the Reverend Chris Korda in the Boston, Massachusetts area of the United States....

. Michael is married to Margaret Korda (nee Mogford), a former fashion model.


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