(1943-1986) US editor. She began her career in 1965 with Galaxy Science Fiction, becoming associate editor in 1969. Her predecessor was Lester del Rey; they married in 1971. She moved to Ballantine Books in 1973, bringing her husband in on the operation in 1974, and in 1977 was instrumental in forming the Del Rey imprint – named for her – of Ballantine (itself owned by Random House). As editor-in-chief of Del Rey Books, she demonstrated an extraordinary gift for marketing sf and fantasy to an unprecedentedly large audience, and her releases often hit the US bestseller lists. At the time of her death, she had become the dominant figure in US sf and fantasy publishing. Given her physically taxing genetic disability – she was an achondroplastic dwarf, and frequently in pain – the range of her accomplishments in the driven world of New York publishing seemed all the more remarkable. A posthumous Hugo award for best professional editor was refused by Lester del Rey.
Del Rey was also responsible for the Stellar series of Original Anthologies, beginning with Stellar 1 (anth 1974) and Stellar Science Fiction Stories #2 (anth 1976), which won a Locus Award, and closing with Stellar Science Fiction Stories #7 (anth 1981). [JC]
see also: Publishing; Skylark Award.
Judy-Lynn del Rey
born New York: 26 January 1943
died New York: 20 February 1986
works as editor
Previous versions of this entry