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London, United Kingdom

1724-1900 1900-1945 1946-1970 1975-1996 1997-2002


1724-1900   [Back to Top]

1724 Longman is founded in London by Thomas Longman
1843 James Wilson, a hat maker from the small Scottish town of Hewick starts The Economist to campaign agains the corn laws.
1844 Samuel Pearson & Son establishes a small building firm in Huddersfield in the north of England.
1848 G. Putnam Broadway, the forerunner to Putnam is established
1880 Westman Dickinson Pearson, grandson of Samuel Pearson and later First Viscount Cowdray, takes control of the company.
1887 The Financial Mining News, precursor to the Financial Times, is established.
1890 Westman Pearson moves Pearson to London and begins building overseas, including participation in the East River Tunnel Project in New York.
1897 Pearson incorporated as S. Pearson & Sons, Inc.

1900-1945   [Back to Top]

1900s Pearson begins to diversify into other fields than construction, particularly oil and electric power.
1907 Pearson & Son Ltd. becomes the firms holding company.
1909 Scott, Foresman begins publishing elementary school books.
1911 Scott, Foresman becomes the first publisher to use four color processes to print college textbooks.
1913 Prentice-Hall is formed by Professor Charles W. Gerstenberg and Richard P. Ettinger. The founders took the name from the maiden names of their two mothers.
1920s Pearson begins to acquire UK provinical newspapers that eventually form the foundation of Westminster Press. The firm also moved into banking and acquired a substantial interest in Lazard Brothers & Company, the London merchant bank.
1921 The New York Institute of Finance is formed by the New York Stock Exhchange
1927 Lord Cowbray dies.
1928 E.H. Scott of Scott, Foresman dies.
1930 The first Scott, Foresman "Dick and Jane" stories published.
1935 Allen Lane publishes the first Penguin paperbacks. Within three months, the books, which cost sixpence, sold 3 million copies.

Penguin publishes specials such as What Hitler Wants and Searchlight on Spain, are best sellers. The biggest seller, however, is Aircraft Recognition.

1942 Addison Wesley gains a reputation as a publisher of mathematics and science books.
1945 The Financial Times and the Financial News merge to form the Financial Times.

1946-1970   [Back to Top]

1946 Penguin Classics is launched. The first title is E.V. Rieu's translation of Homer's The Odessy.
1950 Prentice Hall forms the first Educational Book Division.
1956 Addison-Wesley School Division created. Within two years the imprint begins the Science Education Series (later Science and Mathematics Series).
1957 Pearson purchases the Financial Times as a "sound, conservative investment." The deal includes 50% of The Economist.
1958 The Addison-Wesley International Division is created.
1958 Putnam publishes Nabakov's Lolita, which is banned by some public libraries in America and by the government of France. It becomes a bestseller.
1960s H. Foresman of Scott, Foresman dies.
1960s Penguin is charged under the Obscene Publications Act for the publication of an unabridged Lady Chatterly's Lover. The company is acquitted.
1961 Prentice Hall Business and Professional Books Division created.
1969 Pearson goes public on the London Stock Exchange.
1968 Longman is acquired by Pearson and brought into the publishing arm of the company to join Westminster Press and Financial Times.
1970 Pearson acquires Penguin Books.

1975-1996   [Back to Top]

1975 Penguin Books merges with Viking Press, whose authors include John Steinbeck, Saul Bellows, and Arthur Miller.
1983 John H. Hale becomes the first nonfamily member to head Pearson.
1983 Penguin Books acquires Grosset and Dunlap, publisher of childrens series books such as Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, and Frederick Warne, best know for its Peter Rabbit books..
1984 The company's name is changed to Pearson plc.
1985 Penguin Books acquires Michael Joseph and Hamish Hamilton publisher.
1988 Pearson purchases Les Echos Group.
1988 Pearson purchases Addison-Wesley and merges it with Longman to creat Addison-Wesley Longman.
1989 Pearson begins divesting its oil business.
1994 Pearson acquires Software Tools, Inc. a software company, for $430.1 million and renamed Mindscape.
1995, the Financial Times website, goes live.
1996 Pearson purchases HarperCollins Educational Publishing for $580 million (the deal included Scott Foresman), and merges it with Addison-Wesley Longman.
1996 Westminster Press is sold.
1996 Pearson Penguin Group purchases the Putnam Berkeley Group for $335 million. The Group is merged with Penguin USA to form Penguin Putnam, Inc.

1997-2002   [Back to Top]

1997 Marjorie Scardino becomes CEO of Pearson. She is the first woman to assume leadership of a top UK company.
1997 Lord Dennis Stevenson becomes the first nonfamily Chairman of the Board of Pearson plc.
1997 Pearson sells Churchill Livingstone to Harcourt General.
1998 Pearson purchases Simon & Shuster's reference and publishing divisions for $4.6 billion.
1998 Pearson Education is formed, merging all of the Pearson educational imprints.
1999 Pearson sells $58 million in college textbooks to John Wiley and Sons.
1999 The Pearson Technology Group is formed from the Pearson technology imprints.
1999 Pearson sells Macmillan Library Refernce USA to Thomson's Gale Group for $86 million.
1999 Pearson sells Appleton & Lange to McGraw-Hill for $46 million.
1999 Pearson sells Jossey-Bass to John Wiley and Sons for $81 million
2000 Pearson acquires National Computer Systems (NCS) for $2.4 billion and brings it into Pearson Education. NCS is a leading educational testing and data management company.
2001 New York Institute of Finance is renamed FT Knowledge Financial Learning.
2001 Pearson acquires Dorland Kindersley, a reference publisher, for $500 million and merges it into the Penguin Group.
2001 Pearson sells its stake in RTL, a media conglomerate, to Bertelsmann.
2002 Pearson acquires Rough Guides, a travel and music publisher, and merges it with Putnam.