Harry Lerner, chairman of the board, was a GI stationed in Germany when he started publishing a guidebook, distributed by Stars and Stripes, for servicemen who wanted to purchase cars while serving overseas. The guidebook helped them select cars and provided information on traveling in Europe. When he returned to civilian life, Harry finished college and began publishing a magazine, Sporting Goods Journal. In 1959, he switched to publishing children’s books with a series of medical books aimed at helping children through their childhood illnesses. This was the start of Lerner Publishing Group Inc., which today produces more than 400 titles per year.
Harry Lerner built his businesses through self-sufficiency. He started Muscle Bound Bindery Inc. in 1967 and purchased Interface Graphics Inc. in 1994 to support a fully integrated and independent publishing operation. Today Lerner Publishing Group has about 200 employees and more than 3,500 titles in print. In 2009, Harry chronicled his journey in publishing in his memoir Tenacity Well Directed: The Inside Story of How a Publishing House Was Created and Became a Sleeping Giant in Its Field—Well, Not Exactly.
Harry Lerner holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. A founding member of the Minnesota Book Publishers Roundtable, Harry has supported a variety of literacy organizations, including the Minneapolis Public Library, the University of Minnesota libraries, Books for Africa, and more.