Larry Sloan, left, is pictured with actor Humphrey Bogart in an undated photo.
Nonsense was big business for Larry Sloan, who co-founded a Los Angeles publishing company in the 1960s to print books that were blueprints for silliness.
The series of word-game books, “Mad Libs,” became absurdly popular and marked its 50th anniversary in 2008. More than 110 million of the slim paperbacks have reportedly been sold.
Sloan, the last survivor of the trio of founders of Price Stern Sloan publishing, died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after a brief illness, said his daughter, Claudia Sloan. He was 89.
He was looking for a career that was more “distinguished” than being a Hollywood press agent, Sloan told Publishers Weekly in 1973, when he was by contacted by two men who had come up with the idea for “Mad Libs” — TV writer Leonard Stern and television personality Roger Price.