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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

GEORGE R. KLEIN NEWS CO.

GEORGE R. KLEIN NEWS CO.

The GEORGE R. KLEIN NEWS CO., a wholesale distributor of magazines, paperback books, and out-of-town newspapers, was founded on W. 3rd St. by Geo. R. Klein in 1927. A family-owned company to distribute newspapers and magazines, the business was guided by Geo. R., and his sons, G. Robt. and Wm. C., until 1978 when the presidency passed to his grandson, Geo. Klein, Jr. The company's early business was in newspapers and magazines, and as paperbacks began to appear in the 1930s, publishers utilized distributors such as Klein to handle the new, low-cost books.

With the company's continued growth, the business was established at 1771 E. 30th St. in 1957. During the 1950s and 1960s, G. Robt. Klein's knowledge of computer technology made his company the first in Cleveland to use the initial generation of IBM computers to improve operational efficiency. To interest student and teachers in its inexpensive paperbacks, Klein News donated the books to school libraries, organized traveling bookmobiles to acquaint students with them, and sponsored school book festivals offering paperbacks for sale. By 1966 the company's distribution network included all mass-market paperbacks in the area, 50 out-of-town newspapers, and 1,200 magazines to 850 dealers. By 1977 Klein's network had expanded to 1,978 dealers in northeast Ohio with additional distribution facilities in Akron and Sandusky. In 1995 G. Robt. Klein and George Klein were still active in the business but the day-to-day operations were overseen by the company's president, Ronald Clark. The company distributed over 3,000 titles per month to over 2,500 retailers.