Byron C. Preiss, an author and a publisher who specialized in illustrated books by celebrities, graphic novels and science fiction, died in a traffic accident on Saturday in East Hampton, N.Y. He was 52 and lived in Manhattan.
Mr. Preiss was the president of Byron Preiss Visual Publications and Ibooks, and was recognized as a pioneer in digital publishing. He was among the first publishers to release CD-ROM's and electronic books, said Barbara Marcus, the executive vice president of the publishing company Scholastic.
Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Preiss graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 and earned a master's degree in communications from Stanford University. He produced "The Words of Gandhi," an audio book that won a Grammy Award in 1985. He was also the co-author of "Dragonworld," a novel published by Bantam Books in 1979.
Mr. Preiss published works by celebrity authors including Jane Goodall, Billy Crystal, Jerry Seinfeld, LeAnn Rimes and Jay Leno. He was active in local charities, and was co-chairman of UJA-Federation of New York's publishing committee.