Perhaps if he hadn’t had to wear a uniform, Malcolm Margolin might have stayed at his job as a seasonal ranger with the East Bay Regional Park District. But instead he left and started writing. And then publishing his writing. And eventually wound up creating an iconic and revered Bay Area publishing house and cultural institution, Heyday Books. Since its founding in 1974 Heyday has published several hundred books that cover the diverse nature and culture of California and sponsored dozens of events and programs that nurture rich interactions between authors, artists, intellectuals, activists, and the public.
Malcolm founded Heyday in order to publish his first book, East Bay Out, a highly original and personal description of the parks and preserves of the East Bay Regional Park District. In 1978, Heyday published Malcolm’s best known work, The Ohlone Way: Indian Life in the San Francisco–Monterey Bay Area, which has been in print ever since and has been recognized by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the 100 most influential books of the 20th Century by a western writer. In 1986 Malcolm founded News from Native California, a respected quarterly magazine that gives voice to California’s indigenous peoples. Then, in 1997, he teamed up with David Loeb to start Bay Nature, serving as founding publisher of the quarterly magazine from its launch in 2001 until 2004 and then serving on the board of directors of the Bay Nature Institute until 2012.
Heyday, which became a nonprofit organization in 2004, now publishes 20 titles a year and sponsors dozens of related readings, events, and programs around the state. For his work, Malcolm has received numerous awards, including lifetime achievement awards from the California Studies Association and the San Francisco Bay Area Book Reviewers Association.
At the end of 2015, after 41 years at the helm of Heyday, Malcolm will announce his retirement, passing the leadership of this prestigious cultural institution on to a new generation. In recognition of his invaluable contributions to both Bay Nature and to the cultural life of the Bay Area, the board and staff of the Bay Nature Institute decided to honor Malcolm with a special Bay Nature Hero Award, to be presented at the organization’s Local Hero Awards dinner on March 20, 2016.
Read about our other 2016 Local Heroes:
- Andrea Mackenzie, Conservation Action
- Naftali Moed, Youth Engagement
- Allen Fish, Environmental Education