John Ryden


From 1979 until he retired in 2003, John Ryden was Director of Yale

University Press. He began his publishing career in the College Division of
McGraw Hill in 1965, moving to Harper & Row in 1968 as History Editor,
and then in 1975 to the University of Chicago Press where he was Editor-in-
Chief and Associate Director before coming to Yale. He is a past president
of the Association of American University Presses and was a member of the
board of the Association of American Publishers. He is a past president and
director of Beacon Press in Boston and sat on the Advisory Board the Central
European University in Budapest.

He grew up in Forest Hills, NY, attended local schools and went to Harvard
College, graduating in 1961. From 1962 to 1965 he was in the U. S. Navy as
an officer on the U.S. Francis Marion, and then as an intelligence officer in
Washington, DC.

In 1962 he and Barbara Kelly, a native Forest Hillsian and graduate of
Mount Holyoke College were married. They have two daughters, Linda, a
teacher and musician, who lives in Washington, DC, and Patricia, a
librarian, in Exeter, NH. They have three grandchildren. After many years of
residence in New Haven, the Rydens have lived in Guilford, Connecticut for
the past fifteen years.

John has had a life-long interest in music, particularly vocal music of all
kinds, chamber music and jazz. A singing career begun at Harvard in the
Glee Club and the Hasty Pudding Club’s Krokidiloes, interrupted by a career
in publishing, was resumed on a part-time basis after he retired. A baritone,
he sings lieder and show tunes, and has performed with the Mirror Visions
Ensemble. While in New Haven, John has been active in many musical
organizations including the Educational Center for the Arts and the Friends
of Music at Yale. He is a past president and was for many years a trustee of
Orchestra New England.

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