Sonny Mehta, the editor-in-chief of publishing house Alfred A Knopf, passed away on Monday. He was 77.Mehta helmed the vaunted publisher through a raft of changes since taking over nearly three decades ago. He was celebrated for cementing Knopf's stellar reputation as one of the most successful publishers in history.Mehta, who joined Knopf in 1987, has an “impeccable taste and instincts, for good material as well as salable material”, according to Publishers’ Weekly.“He cares deeply about producing beautiful books. He has an unending sense of curiosity that manifests itself in his voracious—and wide—approach to reading. He’s deeply committed to finding the largest possible audience for his authors,’ it said after naming him as Person of the Year in 2015.Mehta’s list of authors ranges from Pulitzer-winning novelist Toni Morrison to Florida satirist Carl Hiaasen to Japanese maestro Kazuo Ishiguro to Nordic thriller writer Joe Nesbo. The list offers a revealing glimpse into the commercial and critical success of Knopf under Mehta’s watch.Mehta is survived by writer Gita Mehta. He is the brother-in-law of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and served as the chairman of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group in New York."I am deeply grieved by the passing away of my brother in law Sonny Mehta (Husband of my sister Gita Mehta). He was one of the world's best editors and an extremely civilized person. May his soul rest in peace," Patnaik tweeted.Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that Mehta would be fondly remembered by countless avid readers across the world. "He endeared himself to many thanks to his erudite and knowledgable personality. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to Gita Ji, you, your family and his admirers. Om Shanti," Modi tweeted.Born in 1942, Mehta was the son of Amrik Singh Mehta, who was among the earliest diplomats of independent India.