Warfare in News

Posted on Tuesday 3rd December

Born on 25 March 1934, Leonard 'Leo' Cooper sadly died aged 79, on Friday, 29 November 2013, survived by his wife - author Jilly Cooper - and children.

The eldest of three children, Leo was born in Yorkshire and is described in his Telegraph obituary as 'a well-built, soliderly figure with a fine Wellingtonian nose'. His earliest memory was said to be that of a Graf Zeppelin in the skies about his pram. He went on to make his mark as a publisher of military books.

During his schooldays at Radley, Leo took charge of the military band and distinguished himself on the cricket and rugby fields. He obtained a commission whilst on National Service in Kenya, attached to the 70th East African Brigade.

There were numerous literary influences in Leo's early life; his father wrote novels and biographies and two of his aunts were also in publishing. His second wife, Jilly, to whom he was married for over 50 years, is also a successful novelist.

Leo worked for numerous distinguished publishing houses before setting up his own independent publishing house, Leo Cooper Ltd, in 1968. His most outstanding publication was the Marquess of Anglesey's 8-volume History of the British Cavalry. Some of his other authors of note include Brigadier 'Mad Mike' Calvert, Sir George 'Loopy' Kennard, Michael Glover and Brigadier 'Honky' Henniker.

After numerous mergers and changes in ownership, the firm was sold to the Barnsley Chronicle and renamed Pen & Sword Books. Leo continued to work with the company before retiring from publishing around 10 years ago. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2001.

Cooper's memoirs were published in 2005, entitled All My Friends Will Buy It - A Bottlefield Tour (Wharncliffe Books).

Further Reading

All My Friends will buy it, A Bottlefield Tour

Only £19.99

All My Friends will buy it, A Bottlefield Tour

(Hardback - 264 pages)
by Leo Cooper

This is a long awaited memoir from leading military publisher Leo Cooper. Yorkshire born. he was educated at Radley and by National Service in Kenya, before returning to London to join the publishing firm Longmans. He later worked for Andre Deutsch and Hamish Hamilton, who both decided that he was unemployable, a decision with which he thoroughly concurred. They both sacked him. There was only one thing to do and that was 'if you can't… Read more...

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