Literary manager Jerry Kalajian, a partner at Intellectual Property Group, died of cancer on Sept. 9 at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, Calif. He was 68. Intellectual Property Group confirmed Kalajian’s death.
Throughout his career, Kalajian served as an agent, manager and producer, forming tight bonds with literary agencies across the globe. His career was defined by a love and passion for authors and their books, championing their literary voices whenever he could.
He represented numerous prestigious book adaptations for film and television, including “Life of Pi,” “The Book Thief” and “Big Little Lies.” He also represented a long list of producers, directors, literary talents and screenwriters during his tenure.
Kalajian was a frequent visitor to Sydney, Australia, and was known to be an avid traveler, attending more than 30 years of the London Book Fair, Toronto, Cannes and many other film festivals. Professionally, he was described as a smart and sage advisor, in addition to being a dear friend to his peers.
Kalajian was born in Detroit, moving to the Los Angeles area in 1974. He worked as a waiter before starting his Hollywood career at the Diamond Talent Agency with Abby Greshler. Later, he went on to become a talent agent at Herb Tobias & Associates and the Agency for the Performing Arts. After APA, Kalajian formed a partnership for a new literary agency called Becsey, Wisdom, Kalajian. Finally, he collaborated with Larry Becsey and Joel Gotler to establish the Intellectual Property Group. The three worked together for 20 years at IPG, along with partners Leslie Conliffe and Brian Lipson.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, IPG requests that donations be sent to Scripps Health Foundation in support of the Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center.