Who were the people who worked for or with Franklin? These men and women whom I shall call Franklinians form an interesting  group of people. One can find among this group people who had diplomatic, political, and legal experience and they worked next to people who came from  bazaar, the trenches of the WWII, or the streets of Tehran. Some of these people even reached the high management positions. One good example is Ali Asghar Mohajer who had work experience in the Ministry of Finance and also as a cab driver but came to Franklin/Tehran first as a translator and then worked his way up to become the second and the last director of the program in Tehran.

The list is not exhaustive. I will briefly introduce some of these people here using Franklin’s archives and other resources. If you wish to add anything here, please send me an email.

Datus C. Smith, Jr.


Smith was a member of the board and the first director of Franklin from 1953. He was the director of Princeton University Pres before joining Franklin. At Princeton he was first editor in 1941, then a director/secretary from 1942. He is a key figure behind Franklin, a man whose vision of the book and development shaped Franklin in the foundation years and the following decades. Apart from his voluminous correspondences with the Franklin local offices, he published extensively on book publishing in the developing countries. After Franklin, he served in various capacities including the Vice Chairman of the Board of United States Committee for UNICEF. He was also a member of The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) .

Some of Smith’s publications/speeches/talks include:

Smith, Datus C. 1975. “The Bright Promise of Publishing in Developing Countries.”
The American Academy of Political and Social Science 421, 130–139.

Smith, Datus C. 1981. “The Two-Way Flow of Information between East and West: Obstacles and Solutions.” In The International Flow of Information: A Trans- Pacific Perspective, edited by John Y. Cole. Washington: Library of Congress, 18–20.

–. 1966. “The New World of Books in Asia.” Asia: A Journal Published by the Asia Society. No. 5, 1-13.

–. 1958. “American Books in the Non-Western World: Some Moral Issues.” New York Public Library, Eighteenth of the R. R. Bowker Memorial Lectures.

Hassan Galal el-Arrousy


(1909 -1965)

Hassan was the first Franklin’s local director in Cairo, Egypt. He ran the program from 1953 till his sudden death in 1965. He was a lawyer and before joining Franklin, served in diplomatic and national capacities for the Egyptian government.

I have found the following description in a letter of April, 27, 1953 written by Smith from Cairo:

“Born Aug. 6 1909, in Cairo. Father, a doctor, son of a pasha and provincial governor. Hassan’s grandfather was son of a Greek, from Crete, and an Egyptian fellah; he married a Circassian. The family was extraordinary wealthy and utterly impoverished by fits and starts, and Hassan says that one of the greatest advantages on his upbringing was to learn  the emptiness of wealth. Hassan was something of a prodigy, and at an early age started sending things to the paper, and at one stage he was a regular contributor, by mail, to a paper which have never seen him. Finally the editor arranged a meeting with his writer and “Hassan Bay” turned up in short pants.  He won prizes in literature, ….”

Ahamd Riad Abaza

The second director of Franklin/Cairo (more coming)

Homayun Sanati


Homayun was a man of bazaar. He had no previous publishing experience but over the years he turned Franklin/Tehran into one of the most successful field offices. Following the Islamic Revolution he spent some time in prison for his work for Franklin.

Ali Asghar Mohajer


MohajerAs a “translator of some public administration books” he joined Franklin/Tehran in December 1954 with a monthly salary of 12000rials. Sanati described him as “this is the best thing which could have happened to Franklin Tehran office” (Sanati, F214, Jan 4, 1955). He quickly made his way up and in 1968 become the second and the last director of Franklin/Tehran following Sanati’s resignation. He played a key role in the final years of Franklin in Iran and oversaw the spin-off of Franklin. From 1972 he also served as Franklin’s Vice President.

Harold N. Munger, Jr.


He (Hal) started as research director of Franklin on 10 January 1954. From 1946 to 1949 he was with Princeton University Press as advertising manager and assistant to Datus Smith, and from 1949 to 1953 he was director of Rutgers University Press.

Dana J. Pratt 


He joined Franklin as a field consultant. Before joining Franklin he was with the University of Illionis Press as sale manager and before that with the same title at Princeton University Press.

Byron R. Buck


FBP5 (1)

Before joining Franklin in 1959 he was a textbook editor at Macmillan for 11 years. He served in various capacities for Franklin including consultant for textbooks and training up to 1968. He rejoined Franklin on September 1, 1971 as program officer. (I have been contacted with his daughters who have kindly provided some photos from their father’s personal photos. I used some of these photos during the Book Diplomacy conference in April 2022 (see here). They provided valuable information about their father’s role in Franklin and his trips to Iran and Egypt. He is seen here in a meeting of Franklin directors in Schmitten-im-Taunus, Germany, in 1971 prior to Franklin Book Fair.

John H. Kyle


Started as Franklin’s Vice President (Distribution Development) in December 1970. Before joining Franklin, he served for eight years as the the founding director of the East-West Center Press, Honolulu. After Franklin, he was with the University of Texas Press.

Charles E. Griffith

Esther J. Walls


Director of Books and Library Services

Carroll G. Bowen

Donald S. Cameron

From a letter to Catherine S. Scott, Executive Secretary, Government Advisory Committee on International Book Program, February 24, 1965

“We feel that the Franklin Program–not only in Egypt, but everywhere else–has strengthened local publishing by working within the normal framework of publishing economics. This means that the local publisher invests his own money in the project, and must work for sales if he is going to recapture his investment and derive a profit from it. We are a little touchy about being lumped into the USSR and the ‘US government.’