I learnt today from a family friend that Douglas Keen has died. Douglas Keen was Editorial Director of Ladybird over the period of the 1960s and 70s – the publisher’s ‘golden age’ – and was in no small part responsible for this tremendous success.

It was Keen who pushed for Ladybird to extend into the educational market with factual books, convincing the Board of Wills and Hepworth that this was the right direction to pursue. He was also responsible for promoting the most successful Ladybird series of all time – the Peter and Jane Key Word reading scheme – which is still in print today, over 40 years later.

I never met Douglas Keen, but I wish I had. I would like to pass on my commiserations to his daughters and the rest of his family and friends.