Lee Wright
1904 - 1986

Senior Editor, Random House Mystery Division
Biographical Information:
From Who’s Who of American Women, 1st ed. (1958/59):

Wright, Lee, editor; b. N.Y.C.; daughter of Stephen A. and Esther (Brockman) Wright; student public schools.; married John A. Bassett, Apr. 16, 1936. With Simon and Schuster, Inc., 1935, secretary 1935-36; editor Inner Sanctum Mysteries, 1936, senior editor, 1944, magazine editor, 1952-57; editor Random House, Inc., 1957--.
Obituary:
From Publisher’s Weekly, vol. 230, no. 26 (Dec. 26, 1986), p. 20:

Lee Wright, mystery editor at Simon & Schuster and Random House, who published Ira Levin’s bestselling novel Rosemary’s Baby, died December 7. She was 82.

Wright began her publishing career as a secretary to Richard Simon when he co-founded Simon & Schuster. In the early 1940s, Simon asked her to start a line of mysteries, which she named Inner Sanctum Mysteries. The imprint published the first novels of such authors as Donald Westlake, Stanley Ellen, Gypsy Rose Lee and Ira Levin. In 1956, Wright joined Random House as editor of its mystery list, which included anthologies of Alfred Hitchcock, Jonathan Lattimer and Ellery Queen. In 1977, she retired from Random House but remained an independent editor there.
Other:
Lee Wright appears to have been an important link in the relationship between Random House, Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Arthur and The Three Investigators series.  She edited The Pocket Book of Great Detectives in 1941 which is the earliest book known to have used the Hitchcock name for commercial purposes. In 1959 she edited Pocket Book's A Butcher's Dozen of Wicked Women which contained Robert Arthur's short story Weapon, Motive, Method and Joan Vatsek's (Robert Arthur's ex-wife) The Balcony. Lee Wright is assumed to be the unnamed editor for most of the adult and juvenile Alfred Hitchcock short story anthologies throughout the 1960's who included the following credit in each of those books: "The editor gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of Robert Arthur in the preparation of this volume."  Finally, while Ms. Wright isn't known to have personally edited any of The Three Investigators books, she did serve as a link between Random House and Hitchcock's legal agents: click HERE to examine the correspondence regarding the cover art for The Secret of the Crooked Cat.


The site manager gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of John M. Jackson in the preparation of this page.