Biography: Gil McGahey and His Life in Publishing, by his daughter Kate McFlinn

Gil McGahey came to New Zealand as a young man from Belfast, Ireland. 
 
His life in publishing began when Whitcombe and Tombs employed him to sell books around New Zealand. 
 
From there, he became Managing Director for Pitman Publishing and grew a successful business in the New Zealand tertiary sector. 
 
Gil went on to buy his own publishing company, Price Milburn – a children’s educational publisher that produced the famous PM Readers. 
 
After selling Price Milburn to the Australian publisher Nelson, he created a new publishing company called Lands End. Lands End achieved great success through publishing early literacy reading programmes that were sold into the USA. Eventually Gil sold it to Shortland Publications, a Fairfax Media company. 
 
Although officially retired, Gil then developed a world first – the first ever early non-fiction reading series – for the National Geographic Society. Recognition of the huge success of this series came when other US publishing companies began to emulate it with their own publications.  
 
Later Oxford University Press approached Gil to develop a non-fiction branch to its famous Oxford Reading Tree. The non-fiction Windows on Literacy series has had lasting popularity in the USA and New Zealand: the 400 plus titles are still being reprinted to this day, some 17 years after the series began. 
 
Gil was a visionary thinker and sharp businessman. His two daughters, Ann and Kate, will miss his valued advice in the wonderful business of children’s educational publishing. His legacy is continued through the work of Gilt Edge Publishing.
 
ENDS