Publisher Dawn Davis was born on June 23, 1965 in Los Angeles, California to Leona Julia and Louis Davis. She graduated from Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles, California in 1983, and received her B.A. degree in international relations from Stanford University in Stanford, California in 1987.
In 1987, Davis entered into a two year analyst program at the investment bank First Boston in New York City. Davis was then awarded a scholarship through Rotary International to complete an independent study abroad in Nigeria. While on this trip, Davis decided to leave investment banking and returned to New York City where she became the assistant to Andre Schiffrin at his newly founded publishing house, The New Press. In 1991, Davis published her first book, If You Can’t Stand the Heat: Tales from Chefs and Restaurateurs, with the help of world renowned chef Anthony Bourdain. Davis left The New Press and joined the Penguin Random House imprint of Vintage where she became the paperback editor. Then, in 2001, Davis moved to HarperCollins as the vice president and editorial director of the company’s African American imprint, Amistad. While there, Davis acquired and published award-winning novels including Edward P. Jones’ The Known World and Chris Gardener’s The Pursuit of Happyness, which became a major motion picture. Davis moved to the HarperCollins imprint of Ecco Press in 2010 as an executive editor under Daniel Halpern. Then, in 2013, Davis founded her own imprint, 37 INK, under the publishing house of Simon & Schuster, Inc. 37 INK has published a variety of works including Carolina Clarke’s Postcards from Cookie, The Butler by Wil Haygood, Dear White People by Justin Simien, and Gathering Blossoms Under Fire, the collected journals of poet Alice Walker. Through 37 INK, Davis also launched the first online national black book club, The Inkwell Book Club.
Davis has received several awards and honors for her work. In 2014, she received the Groundbreaker Honor award from the organization Girls Write Now. She was also honored alongside Reginald Van Lee with the Visionary Award from the Metro Manhattan Chapter of The Links, Incorporated in 2014. Davis also served on the Board of Directors of the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City.
Dawn Davis was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 20, 2018.
Our Savior's Lutheran School
Immaculate Heart High School
Martha's Vineyard and Italy
Publisher Dawn Davis (1965 - ) was vice president and editorial director of the HarperCollins’ African American imprint, Amistad, before becoming the founder, publisher, and vice president of 37 INK, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Credit Suisse First Boston
The New Press
Random House Publishing
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster, 37 Ink
First Boston Corporation
Penguin Random House- Vintage Books
Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Inkwell Book Club