Walter Zacharius (pictured), the founder of Kensington Publishing, passed away this week at 87-years-old.

Zacharius started Kensington in 1974. Some of the authors he published included National Book Award-winner Joyce Carol Oates, historical novelist Ken Follett, romance author Fern Michaels, and Tucker Max. In 2004, he realized a life-long dream of becoming a published author with the release of his novel, Songbird (later retitled The Memories We Keep).

Here’s more from Kensington’s tribute to the publisher: “Using his artistic sensibilities, he was the first to introduce ‘special-effect’ foil-stamped, holographic, 3D and moving image book covers into the marketplace. Among his other firsts, Walter started a highly-successful African American publishing imprint (Arabesque Books), created the first Spanish-language romance line, and in 2007 opened a West Coast operation, the headquarters of Kensington Media, LLC. a film production company.”