Kimberley, South Africa


Joseph, Philip

Philip Joseph, who has died in London in October 2015 at the age of 94 came to Kimberly to train for the RAF in the early 1940s. There he met the beautiful and clever Pam Horwitz and before long they were married in the Kimberley Shul. Philip Joseph went on to found the Exclusive Books chain in South Africa, opening the initial bookshop with his wife Pamela Joseph in Johannesburg in 1951. The chain now runs to close to 50 bookshops. After relocating to the UK, he then founded Books Etc with his son Richard in 1981, opening more than 40 stores before selling it to US chain Borders in 1997.  You can read The Bookseller's former editor Louis Baum’s profile interview with Philip in 2000  and read his Obituary here   His great saying was ‘if you want any venture or business to succeed it has to have a committed maniac to run it!’

Philip’s Message in Visitors Book

Joseph, Philip (death announcement)


Barney Horwitz, Chairman of the Kimberley community wrote: ‘I am saddened to advise you all of the death last night (25 October 2015) of Philip Joseph who was married in our shul to my aunt Pamela Horwitz in 1947. Philip maintained a link with our community throughout his adult life and remained a Member notwithstanding that he had lived in London for the last 37 years. Philip came to Kimberley as an RAF pilot during the Second World War, met Pam and after their marriage established the first branch of Exclusive Books in 1951 in King George Street, Johannesburg.’