Sterling Lord, who for more than 60 years was one of New York’s most successful and durable literary agents, died September 3. He was 102. The New York Times reported that although the list of well-known writers he represented is long, “his success began with an unknown named Jack Kerouac and his hard-to-sell novel On the Road.”

Lord was a fledgling Manhattan literary agent in 1952 when Kerouac “walked timidly into his office, a basement studio on East 36th Street, just off Park Avenue…. Inside Kerouac’s weather-beaten knapsack and wrapped in a newspaper, Mr. Lord recalled, was a manuscript that Kerouac handed gingerly to him. It took Mr. Lord four years to sell the book, for a measly $1,000. But at last count, On the Road has sold five million copies and burned just as many gallons of gas as generations of young people have set out in search of either the America Kerouac saw or the ones that have taken its place,” the Times wrote.