Richard Bamberger 1911-2007

It is with great sadness that I have to share with you the news that Richard Bamberger died on Sunday, 11 November 2007 at his home in Vienna. He was 97.

As one of the founders of IBBY, Richard Bamberger was closely connected to IBBY for over 50 years. Before he answered Jella Lepman’s invitation to meet in Zurich to establish IBBY, he had already founded the Austrian Children’s Book Club in 1949. Later on in 1965 he established the International Institute for Children’s Literature and Reading Research in Vienna, which became the home of the Austrian Section of IBBY; he remained its director until 1980. He was elected IBBY President in 1962 and served until 1966. During his term as president IBBY expanded and many permanent links to international organizations, including UNESCO were established. In 1963 he and Jella Lepman co-founded IBBY’s journal Bookbird, and he served as editor until 1982. He was awarded Honorary Membership of IBBY in 1978 during the IBBY Congress in Würzberg, Germany and received the Jella Lepman Medal in 1991.

He was a visionary in children's literature and, when in theory he had retired at the age of 70, he founded the Institute for Educational Media Research in Vienna! In 2003 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Dortmund in Germany for his services to reading promotion.

We have lost a true friend and colleague. It is clear that much of what IBBY has become is due to his foresight, vision, energy and dedication. We owe our founders great thanks.

Patsy Aldana, November 2007