Since being founded by Harry Lerner in 1959, Lerner Publishing Group has always had a mission to educate young children, helping them "know more."
As a young entrepreneur, Harry Lerner had his initial taste of success with publishing a book while in the Army in the 1950s. The C-Plate Car and Travel Guide gave service men stationed in Germany the information they needed to buy cars and travel the country. His passion for publishing continued when he returned to his hometown of Minneapolis.
In 1959 Harry launched his initial children's publishing venture with a series called Medical Books for Children, which explained what kids could expect when they visited a doctor's office or if they came down with some then-common childhood diseases. Written by Harry's sister-in-law, Dr. Marguerite Rush Lerner, the first four titles included Dear Little Mumps Child, Michael Gets the Measles, Peter Gets the Chickenpox,
and Doctor's Tools
. Additional titles on topics such as penicillin, hair color, hearing, and even left-handedness soon followed.
Harry's original plan was to sell the books to doctor's offices and through bookstores, department stores, and hospital gift shops. But he soon noticed that most orders came from public libraries, and they requested "library bindings" that would ensure the books lasted through heavy library circulation. Harry adjusted his plans and began producing informational books for children, strengthening connections with school and public library markets.
In 1967, Harry started his own bindery company to manufacture books with Muscle Bound® library bindings—guaranteed to last for the life of the book. He later acquired Interface Graphics Inc., a graphic design, prepress, and photographic services firm. In partnership with its sister companies, Lerner Publishing Group now controls all aspects of book publishing except for printing, thereby ensuring that from start to finish, the company's books achieve high standards of quality.
Lerner Publishing Group is now one of North America's largest independent book publishers for children and young adults. Harry Lerner remains chairman of the company, and his oldest son, Adam Lerner, is the president and publisher. From richly illustrated picture books and solid nonfiction resources to entertaining fiction and graphic novels, Lerner Publishing Group offers a wide variety of materials to draw in young people and help them "know more."