What a shame: the New York Times is reporting that Tony Schulte, the former Random House publisher, drowned on June 17th swimming near his house in Maine. I knew Tony when I started at Random House in 1983. He was Bob Bernstein’s right hand man. (No one writes about Bob Bernstein now, but after Bennett Cerf, he was the dynamic leader who made Random House a great publisher in the 1970s and early 1980s.) A dapper dresser, and sharp sharp sharp, Tony was old school with lots of great ideas. The Times is right; he did get them started in audio books. Tony was also a good friend, and someone I could talk to when the people I worked for at Ballantine Books seemed like they were off the wall. (One day, I’ll write a book. They were an insane group.) Tony’s life was all about publishing. His wife, Liz Darhansoff, was and is a great agent. His daughter, Lucy Danziger, is the editor of Self Magazine. Condolences to them and to his family. Tony was 82. He deserved a better ending. But I thank him, belatedly, for being a friend when I was young and needed one. Rest easy, Tony.