Malcolm Margolin
Margolin at his home in 2021
Born (1940-10-27) October 27, 1940 (age 81)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
OccupationWriter, editor, publisher
Notable awardsAmerican Book Award; Chairman's Commendation, National Endowment for the Humanities; The Hubert Howe Bancroft Award; Cultural Freedom Award, Lannan Foundation; Helen Crocker Russell Award for Community Leadership, San Francisco Foundation,

Malcolm Margolin (born October 27, 1940) is an author, publisher, and former executive director of Heyday Books, an independent nonprofit publisher and cultural institution in Berkeley, California.[1] From his founding of Heyday in 1974 until his retirement at the end of 2015, he oversaw the publication of several hundred books and the creation of two quarterly magazines: News from Native California, devoted to the history and ongoing cultural concerns of California Indians, and Bay Nature, devoted to the natural history of the San Francisco Bay Area. In the fall of 2017, he established a new enterprise, the California Institute for Community, Art, and Nature (California ICAN) to continue and expand upon the work that he began more than forty years ago.

Margolin is the author/editor of several books including The Ohlone Way: Indian Life in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay Area, named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the hundred most important books of the twentieth century by a western writer. His essays and articles have appeared in a number of periodicals including The Nation, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times.

Early life and education

Margolin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 27, 1940[2] to a Lithuanian mother and an American father.[3] He attended Boston Latin School[3] and Harvard University, where he earned a degree in English Literature in 1964.[4] He met his wife Rina while attending Harvard; she was a psychology major at Radcliffe College.[4]

After college he lived in Puerto Rico (1964–1966) and New York City's Lower East Side (1966–1968).[4] He visited Yosemite National Park in the summer of 1967. In 1969, he moved with Rina to California.[4]


Margolin has lectured widely and has served as advisor and mentor to many other publishers. In addition to founding Heyday (1974), News from Native California (1987), and Bay Nature (2001), he co-founded the Alliance for California Tradition Arts (1997), an organization devoted to California folk arts, and has served on its board since its beginning. In 2001, he co-founded Inlandia Institute, a literary center in Riverside, California.

He currently serves on the Publication Committee of the Book Club of California and devotes time and effort to a number of environmental, cultural, and social justice organizations and causes.

Personal life

He has lived in Berkeley, California since the late 1960s,[3] where he and his wife, Rina, have raised three children: Reuben (1970), Sadie (1974), and Jacob (1980).[4]


Books authored by Margolin include:


He has received many honors including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Francisco Bay Area Book Reviewers Association, a Community Leadership Award from the San Francisco Foundation, a Gold Medal from the Commonwealth Club of California, an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation, and a Cultural Freedom Award[5] from the Lannan Foundation.

In 2012 he received the chairman's Commendation from the National Endowment for the Humanities,[3] the second person in the United States to be so honored.


  1. ^ Dinkelspiel, Frances; Rosos, Pete (January 11, 2012). "Snapshot: Malcolm Margolin, Founder, Heyday Books".
  2. ^ "'Heyday of Malcolm Margolin' a fun, feisty history". The San Francisco Examiner. January 18, 2015. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Malcolm Margolin". National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
  4. ^ a b c d e Bancroft, Kim (2017). "Malcolm Margolin: "Such a goddamn beautiful life" Conversations about Heyday Press and Everything Else" (PDF). Oral History Center University of California, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Lannan Foundation". Lannan Foundation.
  6. ^ American Booksellers Association (2013). "The American Book Awards / Before Columbus Foundation [1980–2012]". BookWeb. Archived from the original on March 13, 2013. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 2001 [...] Editor/Publisher Award: Malcolm Margolin
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Awards".
  9. ^ "2008 Awardees". The San Francisco Foundation. Archived from the original on December 23, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  10. ^ "The Hubert Howe Bancroft Award". Bancroft Library. Archived from the original on August 28, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  11. ^ "SCA Meeting Awards | Society for California Archaeology".