Douglas Gibson was born in Scotland in 1943, and raised in the small village of Dunlop, in Ayrshire. After school at Glasgow Academy, he studied English at St. Andrews University, where he was the President of the Students Union. After his degree he won a scholarship that took him to Yale, where he gained an MA in 1967. He then came to Canada, arriving (as a Scottish immigrant with a very poor sense of direction) in Victoria, B.C..
He soon came to Toronto, and in March 1968 joined the world of Canadian Publishing, as a Trainee Editor with Doubleday Canada. He was the Editorial Director, then the Publisher, at Macmillan of Canada from 1974 until 1986.
In 1986 Avie Bennett lured him to McClelland & Stewart, to run his own imprint, Douglas Gibson Books. In 1988 he became the Publisher at McClelland & Stewart, (The Canadian Publishers) a post that he held until 2004. He “”retired”” at 65 in 2008.
On his retirement as an Editor and Publisher, he became an Author. In 2011 ECW Press brought out his first book, STORIES ABOUT STORYTELLERS: Publishing Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, Alistair MacLeod. Pierre Trudeau, and Others.
Now, at 74, this man the Globe called “”a publishing icon”” continues to be very active. He still edits selected author friends like Terry Fallis. He advises authors like Ken Dryden and R.H Thompson about their forthcoming books. He serves on literary juries. He travels constantly, giving his shows to Festivals, libraries, schools and book clubs. And he maintains a lively literary blog, at douglasgibsonbooks.com