One of the men responsible for bringing Mad Libs to the world has died.
Sloan, the last survivor of the trio of founders of Price Stern Sloan publishing, died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a brief illness, said his daughter, Claudia Sloan. He was 89.
He was looking for a career that was more “distinguished” than being a Hollywood press agent, Sloan told Publishers Weekly in 1973, when he was by contacted by two men who had come up with the idea for “Mad Libs” — TV writer Leonard Stern and television personality Roger Price.
“In the early ’60s, Larry Sloan, a dear friend from high school who … had always been a grammarian par excellence, joined us as a partner and CEO,” Stern wrote in an official “Mad Libs” history, “and we became the publishing company Price Stern Sloan.”
Sloan “eventually became the business man behind ‘Mad Libs,’ ” Stern told the Washington Post in 1994.
Working from offices on La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood, Sloan directed the editing of manuscripts that often emphasized humor. As of 1973, the company had 150 titles — mainly original softcovers that sold for a dollar — and expected to gross about $1.6 million that year.