Frankfurter Buchmesse to Host Memorial Reception for Fred Kobrak

In News by Hannah Johnson

Publishing legend Fred Kobrak will be remembered by his colleagues, friends, and family in Frankfurt this year. RSVP to attend.

Fred Kobrak, 1928-2016

By Hannah Johnson | @hannahsjohnson

On the opening day of this year’s Frankfurter Buchmesse, a memorial reception will be held for Fred Kobrak, a legend in international publishing and a true friend to the Frankfurter Buchmesse. Fred sadly passed away in December 2016 at the age of 88.

Co-organized by the Frankfurter Buchmesse and the Kobrak family, this memorial will take place at 5:30 pm, Wednesday, October 11 in Hall 4.C of the Frankfurt fairgrounds.

All those who knew Fred are invited to join in this celebration of his life, and to share their memories of him.

Fred Kobrak Memorial Reception
5:30 pm
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Hall 4.C, Room Consens, Frankfurter Buchmesse
Click here to RSVP

During the memorial, Fred’s family will say a few words, and others who knew Fred are invited to share their memories of him. At 6:00 pm, Frankfurter Buchmesse director Juergen Boos will give a short speech.

From Fred’s son, Paul Kobrak, said:

For 56 consecutive years Dad attended the Frankfurt Book Fair, and it was one of his greater regrets that his stroke in 2014 prevented him from ever attending it again. Sadly he passed away on December 12, 2016 in Portland Oregon.

The Buchmesse had become a second family to him, and we, his other family, are grateful that the Fair is organising a memorial event in his honour. It gives us the opportunity to bring him home and to remember together what he meant to us and what publishing, families and Frankfurt meant to him.

Fred was passionate about books and publishing. He had build friendships with a great many of colleagues and partners in all corners of the world. He worked at Macmillan for 35 years, first in international sales and eventually as the President of Collier Macmillan International in London. After retiring, he worked for 10 years as a consultant to Thomson.

He remained active in publishing well into his 80s, continuing his annual trips to the Frankfurter Buchmesse every year and attending the bi-annual meetings of the International Publishers Association.

To carry Fred’s legacy into the future, the Kobrak family will sponsor the Fred Kobrak Frankfurt Fellow Grant for the next ten years. This grant will cover the costs of one exceptional publishing professional to participate in the annual Frankfurt Fellowship and will carry on Fred’s commitment to sharing his passion for international publishing with others.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.