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Publisher Gibbs Smith passed away on Saturday, Oct. 28 at age 77. Smith and his wife, Catherine, founded a publishing house in 1969 with the mission to support books that contribute to the positive evolution of the world’s culture, with style, wit, intelligence and taste.

LAYTON — Well-known local publisher Gibbs Smith has passed away at age 77.

Gibbs M. Smith Inc. Monday reported that its president and founder died Saturday with his wife Catherine, family and friends by his side.

For decades the mission of the publishing house that Smith and his wife established was to publish books that contribute to the positive evolution of the world’s culture, with style, wit, intelligence, and taste. The company was originally founded in 1969 under the name Peregrine Smith in Santa Barbara, California, before moving the headquarters to a refurbished 1919 barn in Layton in 1973 and eventually being renamed Gibbs Smith.

Mr. Smith, who was born in Oakland, California, was especially proud to “export culture from the Rocky Mountain West” to the rest of the world as an independent employee-owned company, according to a statement. The company will continue under its current management.

“Gibbs and Cathy have been insistent that the way to continue their legacy was to transition ownership of the organization to employees; to create an employee-owned company,” said chief executive officer Brad Farmer. “They are proud of the fact that generations to come will continue to enjoy independent book publishing as Gibbs has.”

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The Gibbs Smith Inc. trade and special interest division publishes home reference, cookbook and children’s titles. The company’s gift brand creates book-themed specialty gifts for reading enthusiasts, while the education division is the nation’s leading publisher of state history programs, according to the statement.

“Gibbs was a creative soul, who continued to work generating book ideas and ways to move the company forward up until his final day,” said Suzanne Taylor, chief creative officer and publisher. “He was always willing to take risks with books that other publishers might shy away from. He loved working with authors and illustrators and seeing their words and images become accessible to millions.”

Services will be Saturday, November 4.