Nelson Doubleday Jr.

Nelson Doubleday Jr. (July 20, 1933 – June 17, 2015) was the last president of Doubleday and Company (1978-1986) before its sale to Bertelsmann A.G. in 1986. He was instrumental in the company's purchase of the New York Mets in 1980.[1]

After selling his publishing company, he bought a 50 percent stake in the Mets in his own name, with team president Fred Wilpon buying the remaining 50 percent. He retained the post of chairman of the board that he'd held since 1980. Doubleday sold his interest to Wilpon in 2002.

Early life and education

He is the son of Ellen McCarter and Nelson Doubleday, and has a younger sister Neltje. Their father led the Doubleday publishing company, which was founded by his father Frank N. Doubleday. Their paternal grandmother Neltje Blanchan De Greff published books on gardens and birds. Doubleday was born in Oyster Bay, Long Island and grew up there and in South Carolina. He attended the Green Vale School in Glen Head, then the Eaglebrook School and Deerfield Academy, both in Deerfield, Massachusetts. After Deerfield, Doubleday attended Princeton, where he earned a degree in economics, and played baseball, football and hockey. Upon his graduation in 1955, Doubleday served in the United States Air Force and was stationed at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.[2]


Growing up with his father and grandfather in book publishing, Nelson Doubleday Jr. also wanted to work in that field. Entering Doubleday as a young man, he advanced in a variety of positions to learn the business. He became president of Doubleday in 1978. In 1980, he was instrumental in the company's decision to buy the Mets baseball team from the Payson family, as well as to expand into television and film production. Doubleday became chairman of the Mets board, a post he retained during its rise to the 1986 World Series title.

In 1986, Doubleday sold the publishing company to Bertelsmann for a reported $475 million.[3] He and Wilpon then bought the Mets from the publishing company for more than $80 million.[4] In 2002, Doubleday sold his stake in the Mets to Wilpon.[5]

Personal life

He married Florence McKim, the daughter of Lillian Bostwick Phipps, who was Mrs. Ogden Phipps. By 1972 they had separated.[6] He has 4 daughters. Doubleday died of pneumonia at his Locust Valley, New York home on June 17, 2015, aged 81.[2]


  1. Associated Press (1980-01-24). "Doubleday to invest in Mets". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  2. 1 2 Grimes, William (June 17, 2015). "Nelson Doubleday Jr., Publisher and Mets Buyer, Dies at 81". New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2015.
  3. Associated Press (1986-09-28). "West German-based firm buys Doubleday and Co.". Tri City Herald. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  4. Associated Press (1986-11-14). "Mets in same hands after sale". The Rock Hill Herald. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  5. Sandomir, Richard (2002-08-14). "Baseball; Owners Of Mets Make A Deal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  6. Marylin Bender, "The Story Behind Family and Firm Reads Like a Novel", The Palm Beach Post, 31 December 1972, accessed 19 April 2012
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