Penguin Books is a British publishing house. It was co-founded in 1935 by Allen Lane with his brothers Richard and John,[3] as a line of the publishers The Bodley Head, only becoming a separate company the following year.[4] Penguin revolutionised publishing in the 1930s through its inexpensive paperbacks, sold through Woolworths and other stores for sixpence, bringing high-quality fiction and non-fiction to the mass market.[5] Its success showed that large audiences existed for serious books. It also affected modern British popular culture significantly through its books concerning politics, the arts, and science.[6]

Quick facts: Parent company, Status, Founded, Founder, Cou...
Penguin Books
Parent companyPenguin Random House (as of 1 July 2013)[1]
StatusActive
Founded1935; 87 years ago (1935)
Founder
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationCity of Westminster, London, England
DistributionUnited Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, India, United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Spanish-speaking world, Brazil, Germany, Portugal
Key people
Publication typesBooks
ImprintsPenguin Classics, Viking Press
Revenue€3.4 billion [2]
Owner(s)Bertelsmann
No. of employees10,000[2]
Official websitewww.penguin.com
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Penguin Books is now an imprint of the worldwide Penguin Random House, a conglomerate formed in 2013 by its merger with American publisher Random House, a subsidiary of German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.[7] Formerly, Penguin Group was wholly owned by British Pearson plc, the global media company which also owned the Financial Times.[8] When Penguin Random House was formed, Pearson had a 47% stake in the new company, which was reduced to 25% in July 2017. Since April 2020, Penguin Random House has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann. It is one of the largest English-language publishers formerly known as the "Big Six"—now the "Big Five", along with Holtzbrinck/Macmillan, Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.[9]

Penguin Books has its registered office in the City of Westminster, London, England.[10][11]