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William Dailey


1945 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
William Dailey Obituary
William "Bill" Dailey, proprietor of Dailey Rare Books for 40 years, passed away on Friday December 15, 2017 in a traffic accident near his Los Angeles home. Bill, 72, was one of the last in a distinguished line of Los Angeles bookmen.

Born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in 1945, Bill was raised in Evansville, Indiana after the family moved there in 1950. After graduating from Evansville College, he moved to California in 1967 where he taught art at the Dunn School near Santa Barbara. Moving to Los Angeles in 1969, he began his apprenticeship in the antiquarian book trade with legendary book dealer Jake Zeitlin of Zeitlin & Verbrugge. Bill was also a publisher and a letterpress printer; in 1972 he co-founded The Press of The Pegacycle Lady, with his then-wife, Victoria Dailey, and together they published 25 letterpress books over two decades on such subjects as William Blake, D. H. Lawrence and the Marquis de Sade. In 1977 they opened William & Victoria Dailey Rare Books, which became Dailey Rare Books in 1997. The shop on Melrose Avenue was a mecca to those in search of old, rare and unusual books and prints. In 2007, he closed the shop and sold books privately. He divided his time between Los Angeles and the Palm Springs area, where he owned The Hacienda Hot Springs Inn.

An accomplished bibliographer, lifelong scholar, collector, hot springs fanatic, artist, raconteur and longtime Buddhist, Bill's interests and knowledge covered a wide range of topics. One of the most notable collections he amassed was of books on vegetarianism, which he began collecting in 1970. That collection, which contained works spanning from 1547 to 1967, was later gifted to The Lilly Library at Indiana University where he gave a lecture last year.

He is survived by his partner Nicole Panter; his former wife and friend Victoria Dailey; and his sister Deanne Dailey Hansen. Bill was predeceased by his parents, Elizabeth and Donald Dailey of Evansville.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 23, 2018
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