Sheldon died peacefully Oct. 9, 2006. He was 80.
He prepared for Princeton at the Lawrenceville School. At Princeton he majored in history, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated with highest honors. He was senior board member, news editor, editorial board member, and movie critic of the Daily Princetonian. He was a member of Prospect Club.
He began his publishing career with Funk & Wagnalls, and later joined Oxford University Press. At Oxford he rose to become executive editor for trade books and later became senior vice president with his own publishing unit. He made Oxford a major publisher of books about American culture and history. Sheldon’s titles won six Pulitzer Prizes, including one for James McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom. He was awarded an honorary master’s degree from Oxford University and changed the culture at Oxford Press by convincing the staff that jazz and baseball were legitimate topics. In 2000 he was honored by his authors with the publication of American Places: Encounters with History. He was on the board of the Princeton University Press and the history department’s advisory committee.
Sheldon is survived by his wife, Mary; daughter Arabella; son Andrew; and two grandchildren. The class mourns with them on their loss of the man Oxford Press called a legend and we proudly called classmate.