Thomas N. Horton - Ringwood, N.J.

ROCHESTER — Thomas N. Horton, a publishing entrepreneur and best-selling author, died Feb. 24, 2010, at the home of his daughter, Lee Ann Millar, in Ringwood, New Jersey. He was 79.

Tom was born May 26, 1930, in Rochester, Minn., the youngest of three children of Bayard T. Horton, M.D., and Jane Heyl Horton. His father was a longtime physician at the Mayo Clinic.

Tom graduated from the University of Minnesota. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea and Japan. Tom married Ann Christensen, his high school sweetheart, in 1954. Steady and soft-spoken, Ann's quiet strengths were a perfect counterpoint for Tom's kinetic sociability. Ann remained Tom's supportive wife and business partner until her unexpected death in 2001.

Tom built a successful career in the textbook publishing industry at Prentice Hall and McGraw-Hill, first as a college traveler, living in Colorado and Illinois before settling in Glen Ridge, N.J., when he was promoted to McGraw-Hill's New York office. In 1973, he founded his own publishing house, Thomas Horton & Daughters, specializing in economics and business texts. Tom's reputation attracted well-known authors, an unusual accomplishment for a small company, including works by Nobel Prize winners Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson. Tom's entrepreneurship also played out when his firm published the first book of economic principles masquerading as a mystery murder novel, "Murder at the Margin."

Tom's own writing abilities emerged at mid-life when, in the midst of a successful career selling other authors' words, he surprised everyone by writing some words of his own. Tom co-authored "Yogi: It Ain't Over," with Yogi Berra, which was published in 1989 and was on the New York Times bestseller list. It is considered the most faithful chronicle of the life of Yogi Berra, the beloved Baseball Hall of Famer. Tom also wrote "The October Twelve: Five Years of New York Yankee Glory, 1949-1953" with Phil Rizzuto and "Outrageous Good Fortune: The Autobiography of Ed Robson."

Tom and Ann moved to Sun Lakes, Ariz., in the early-1970s where he enjoyed his passion for golf and baseball spring training. He moved to New Jersey to live with his daughter in 2008.

Tom is survived by his three daughters, their husbands and children: Lee Ann Millar of Ringwood, N.J., Marcia O'Grady and Karen Ruiz, both of Glen Ridge, N.J.; his sister, Nancy Bragdon of Portland, Ore.; and his brother, Bayard Horton of Satellite Beach, Fla.

A service was held at the Glen Ridge Congregational Church on March 8, 2010.