Berkley Books was founded in 1955 by a group of independent investors. The company performed quietly but profitably for ten years, and in 1965 was bought by G. P. Putnam's Sons, which in turn was bought by MCA ten years later.
1979 was a year of major growth for Berkley, when Victor Temkin left Bantam Books to be the company's new president. He hired Rena Wolner, then Associate Publisher of Bantam, to be Publisher, and David Shanks, then wholesale national distributor for Bantam, to be sales director for the combined Berkley/Jove list. That same year, Bill Gross was hired to be Publisher of Jove Books, which Putnam had bought from Harcourt Brace, and which at the time was run as a separate company. In 1982, Putnam bought Grosset & Dunlap and Playboy Press, and the Ace and Playboy paperback lists were added to Berkley. The Playboy list was eventually absorbed into Berkley, while the Jove and Ace lists have continued as distinct imprints.
The company publishes more than five hundred titles a year under the Berkley, Jove, and Ace imprints, in mass-market paperback, trade paperback, and hardcover formats. Berkley is proud to publish in paperback some of the country's most significant bestselling authors, including Tom Clancy, Robin Cook, Patricia Cornwell, Catherine Coulter, and Nora Roberts.