PEN is saddened by the loss of influential book editor, social justice advocate, and PEN member Jeannette Hopkins, who died August 4 in New York from complications of a medical condition. She was 88 years old. Hopkins held a BA in English from Vassar and an MS from Columbia University School of Journalism. She began her career in the 1940s as a reporter for the New Haven Register, the Providence Journal-Bulletin, and the Oklahoma City Times. She went on to become the senior editor at various publishing companies, including Harper & Row, and worked with authors like Annie Dillard, C.S. Lewis, and James MacGregor Burns. Hopkins eventually returned to academia, becoming the director and editor-in-chief for the Wesleyan University Press, and an Adjunct Professor of English at Wesleyan University. She relished her role as a mentor to both writers and young assistant professors on the tenure track.

Along with her trailblazing career as an editor and academic, Hopkins had a lifelong passion for social justice. She co-authored a book with Kenneth Clark called A Relevant War Against Poverty: A Study of Community Action Programs and Observable Social Change. She was also an elected at-large member of the National Board of the American Civil Liberties Union, and remained a member of the ACLU’s National Advisory Council until the time of her death.