Loretta Barrett is founder and current president of the literary agency Loretta Barrett Books, Inc. in New York. Formerly, she was editor-in-chief of Anchor Books and vice president and executive editor at Doubleday & Co. Barrett first began her career teaching under a Ford Foundation Grant in an inner-city high school. She fell in love with teaching, which in turn led to publishing, where she was hired by Doubleday to work on a very exciting project in black and ethnic history.
The turmoil in the late 1960s coincided with the work Barrett was doing dealing with African-American studies, women’s issues, social issues and the introduction of Zen to the U.S. Her work continued through the 1970s and 1980s when she published a number of people including Barbara Ehrenreich, Steven Levine, Judy Chicago, former First Lady Betty Ford, Betty White, Esther and Richard Shapiro, Ann Douglas, Paul West and Chinua Achebe.
In the late 1980s Barrett made the decision (for which she has been eternally grateful) to start her own literary agency. In 1990 Loretta Barrett Books, Inc. was born. Being an agent brought Barrett back to the work she loves--working with authors, developing ideas and helping get ideas published. In many ways, she never left her original vocation, teaching.