Duvall Hecht, Founder of Books on Tape, Is Dead at 91


“Books on Tape was the seller to have a look at when you have been promoting into libraries, as a result of they have been creating a number of content material,” stated Michele Cobb, govt director of the Audio Publishers Affiliation. “Everybody regarded to Duvall and Sigrid as trade leaders.”

Duvall Younger Hecht was born on April 23, 1930, in Los Angeles. His father, John, was a stockbroker, and his mom, Clarabelle (Younger) Hecht, was a homemaker. After graduating from Beverly Hills Excessive Faculty, the place he was an detached scholar, Duvall attended Menlo Faculty in Atherton, Calif., for a yr, earlier than transferring to Stanford College.

Whereas finding out for his bachelor’s diploma in journalism, he was recruited for the Stanford rowing workforce; he excelled shortly sufficient to earn a spot competing for america within the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, quickly after his commencement. He and his teammate James Fifer competed within the coxed pairs, during which every rower makes use of one oar on both aspect of the boat, which is steered by a coxswain. They didn’t win a medal.

Mr. Hecht entered the Marines, the place he was a fighter pilot, however continued his coaching in rowing, this time for the 1956 Summer time Video games in Melbourne, Australia. He and Mr. Fifer received the gold medal in pairs, this time with out a coxswain, defeating the favored Soviet workforce by eight seconds.

He served within the Marines for an additional yr earlier than being employed as a industrial pilot by Pan American World Airways. However he was bored — flying a aircraft, he stated, was like driving a bus — and he left after a yr. He taught English at Menlo, the place he additionally began a rowing workforce and coached it; quickly after incomes a grasp’s in communications from Stanford in 1960, he started working as an funding adviser on the first of a number of corporations earlier than becoming a member of Bateman Eichler.

He continued within the funding world for some time after beginning Books on Tape with 4 titles, together with “Paper Lion: Confessions of a Final-String Quarterback,” George Plimpton’s 1966 account of making an attempt to play for the Detroit Lions, and “Zelda,” Nancy Mitford’s 1970 biography of Zelda Fitzgerald.

Mr. Hecht remained keen about rowing at the same time as he ran Books on Tape and labored within the funding world. He based the rowing workforce on the College of California, Irvine, when the campus opened in 1965 and was its first coach; he left within the Nineteen Seventies to teach the rowing workforce on the College of California, Los Angeles, for six years, then returned to Irvine, the place he coached the workforce from 1992 to 2001.


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