Men are more moral than they think and far more immoral than they can imagine.

Sigmund Freud

Ed Victor - Biography

Ed Victor (born 1939 in the Bronx, New York City) is one of the world's leading Literary Agents.



Victor is the son of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, who ran a photographic equipment store. After graduating from Dartmouth College, in 1961 Victor attended University of Cambridge on a Marshall scholarship.

Publishing editor

Victor married Englishwoman Micheline Samuels in 1963, and making their home in London the couple had two children. Victor worked for publishing house the Oborne Press, then part of Lord Beaverbrook's Express Newspapers group. He then worked on coffee table books for Weidenfeld and Nicolson. After approaching Lord Weidenfeld in the toilet, he was moved to general publishing looking after the works of Saul Bellow and Vladimir Nabokov.

In 1970 his marriage ended in divorce, and wanting a new challenge Victor co-founded countercultural newspaper Ink with Oz founders Felix Dennis and Richard Neville. Conflict about what Ink should be lead to its failure, and Victor returned to the United States to work for Knopf.

Literary agent

Victor married his second wife, lawyer Carol Ryan, and after a year travelling they made their main home in London to be close to Victor's children. Victor was one of the first former journalist/editors to make the move to be a publishing agent, when in the 1970s literary agents were not welcomed by British publishers. However many changed their minds when Victor's first sale in 1976 was for the book and film rights to Stephen Shephard's novel The Four Hundred for $1.5m. In 2005 Victor's client John Banville won the Booker Prize, and the following day he sold Eric Clapton's memoirs for $4 million.

Victor no longer takes "blind" scripts sent to him, instead gaining clients through personal reference. In 2003 Victor and his wife were named second on Tatler's list of the most invited guests in London, behind Elton John.

Personal life

Still married to second wife Carol Ryan, the couple live mainly in London with a secondary home in The Hamptons. The couple have a son Ryan, and Victor has sons Adam and Ivan from his first marriage. In 2002 Victor suffered from an attack of viral pneumonia, but is now fully recovered.

In 2002 Victor published his first book The Obvious Diet - Your Personal Way to Lose Weight Fast Without Changing Your Lifestyle through Arcade Publishing. He is currently considering writing a second book about travel.

Victor is Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Almeida Theatre, a Trustee of the Arts Foundation and of the Hay Festival, a founding director of the Groucho Club, and a founder of the Digital Village.


  • Douglas Adams
  • Mary Arrigan
  • John Banville - won the Booker Prize
  • Attila Bartis
  • Candice Bergen
  • David Blunkett
  • Herbie Brennan
  • Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks
  • Alastair Campbell
  • Raymond Chandler
  • Eric Clapton - sold memoirs for $4 million
  • Eoin Colfer
  • Joan Collins
  • Sophie Dahl
  • Joe Eszterhas
  • Sir Ranulph Fiennes
  • Frederick Forsyth
  • A. A. Gill
  • Josephine Hart
  • Jack Higgins
  • Erica Jong
  • Nigella Lawson
  • David Lee Stone
  • Kathy Lette
  • Allan Mallinson
  • Andrew Marr
  • Iris Murdoch - Victor also helps manage her estate
  • Anne Robinson
  • Ruth Rogers
  • Sir Stephen Spender
  • Janet Street-Porter
  • Kate Thompson
  • Irving Wallace
  • U2

Former clients include Will Self and Erica Jong.

External links

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