Joyce Meskis, First Amendment advocate and pioneering owner of Tattered Cover, has died

The Denver Post: Joyce Meskis, the pioneering bookstore owner and fierce First Amendment advocate who built Denver’s Tattered Cover into one of the nation’s most beloved literary institutions, died at home Thursday surrounded by her family, the store announced on social media. She was 80 years old.

“When future historians look back at the later 20th century and early 21st century, one of the most important people in this city’s history will be Joyce Meskis,” said Mark Barnhouse, who wrote a biography about the iconic book chain last year. “There are mayors, governors and other prominent people, but Joyce is right there among them.”

When she purchased the Tattered Cover in 1974 using a small loan from her uncle, Meskis inherited a 950-square-foot bookstore in Cherry Creek — smaller than some Denver condos. Within 12 years, she had taken over the 40,000-square-foot former Neusteter’s department store building on the corner of Second Avenue and Fillmore Place with half a million books in stock.

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