Publisher Léo Scheer died on Saturday at the age of 76, at the end of a life where he exercised his talents as a writer, sociologist, advertiser and television man, his wife announced on Tuesday May 7. The announcement of the death, which occurred in a Paris hospital, was published by Nathalie Rheims in the notebook of the daily Le Figaro.

Léo Scheer created a publishing house in his name in 2000, which publishes literature and works on the human sciences and photography. Its eclectic catalog includes authors like Eric Vuillard, before his Goncourt prize, the poet Yves Bonnefoy, the novelists Chloé Delaume and Camille Laurens, the sociologist Didier Eribon, and even polemical writers like Richard Millet or Gabriel Matzneff.

In 2005, he republished the latter’s controversial essay, The Under Sixteen Years, advocating sexual relations with children and adolescents, before withdrawing it from commerce after the scandal caused in 2020 by the publication of Consent , by Vanessa Springora.

“A publishing house like this is a family adventure, and its disappearance leaves a huge void,” the general director of Éditions Léo Scheer, Angie David, told AFP. “Léo was unique, with his extraordinary intelligence. We consider him an inventive, creative genius, in addition to an extremely generous, very fair man,” she added.

In the team that created Canal

Léo Scheer published in 2023 an original book of memories, Manifesto of the Anarchist Party, which looked back on his Polish Jewish origins and his own professional, intellectual and political journey.

Born in 1947 in a refugee camp in Bavaria, arriving in Paris as a stateless child, he participated in the May 68 revolt, then became a doctor in sociology in 1972. In the 1980s, he turned to advertising, joining Havas, and will work for the renewal of the audiovisual landscape. He was part of the team that created Canal, then joined Publicis which launched a competitor, TV6, replaced by M6 in 1987.

After becoming interested in communication and telecoms, he started as an editor. “I told myself that there was only one thing that wouldn’t change, and that was the book. So I wanted to start creating beautiful works, the old-fashioned way,” he explained to Corse Matin in 2015.

Correction on May 7 at 12:50 p.m.: Corrected an error in the name of the channel created by Mr. Scheer at Publicis.