Robert Bernstein, top publishing executive, dead at 96

NEW YORK (AP) — Robert L. Bernstein, an eminent publishing executive at Random House and a human rights activist, has died at 96.

Bernstein died Monday in Manhattan after a brief illness, according to his son, Peter Bernstein.

The tall, sandy-haired Robert Bernstein was president of Random House from 1966 to 1990, presiding over a generation of dynamic growth and change. Authors during that time included Toni Morrison, James Michener and E.L. Doctorow.

Bernstein also advocated for dissidents everywhere from the Soviet Union to Argentina. He helped found Helsinki Watch, Human Rights Watch and other organizations. He was among the first recipients of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, presented to him in 1998 by President Bill Clinton, and received numerous other honors.

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