Joseph DeSalvo, who traded corporate law to sell books, dies at 88

Jan 01, 2021 393

BY: John Pope

Joseph DeSalvo Jr., a New Orleans native who set aside corporate law to open Faulkner House Books in the French Quarter and make it a literary destination, died Tuesday at Touro Infirmary. He was 88. His life as a bookseller followed a career that included stints in New York, Houston and New Orleans as an attorney at Exxon, Tenneco and Good Hope Refinery.

Throughout those years, DeSalvo was an avid book collector who was motivated by literature and the scholarly pursuit of literary knowledge, said Rosemary James, his wife and co-owner of Faulkner House Books. He was particularly interested in books by and about Samuel Johnson, books about Napoleon and the works of contemporary authors such as Saul Bellow, John Updike and Philip Roth.

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