Carolyn Reidy
Carolyn Reidy

Simon & Shuster president & CEO Carolyn Reidy died today of a heart attack. She was 71.

Dennis Eulau, executive VP & CFO, announced the news on the company's website, calling Reidy an exemplary leader and a supremely talented and visionary publishing executive.

"Since joining Simon & Schuster in 1992 as president of the trade division, she has been a vital and energetic force within our company, leading us to unprecedented growth on both the domestic and international fronts, and steering us through the transition to publishing in the digital era," he wrote.

Eulau remembers Reidy as a fierce leader, loyal friend and passionate supporter. "Carolyn inspired me and challenged me every day that we worked together," he wrote. "She had the rare combination of business acumen and creative genius that made her a once-in-a-lifetime publishing executive."

Reidy worked on S&S books with Doris Kearns Goodwin, Frank McCourt, David McCullough, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dick Cheney, Walter Isaacson, Phil Knight, Bob Woodward, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen King, Ray Dalio, Angela Duckworth and Dr. Mehmet C. Oz.

Before joining Simon & Schuster, Reidy was president and publisher of Avon Books, after having worked at William Morrow and Random House, where she was publisher of Vintage Books and Associate Publisher of the Random House imprint.

She began her publishing career in 1974 in the subsidiary rights department of Random House.

S&S will announce where donations may be made in Reidy's name at a later date.