Andre Schiffrin, 78, who gave readers Art Spiegelman, Michel Foucault, and Studs Terkel before he was forced out of commercial publishing in a defining battle between profits and literature, died Sunday in Paris of pancreatic cancer.

Mr. Schiffrin had sought out authors through his final days, dividing his time between New York and Paris as founding editor and editor at large of the nonprofit New Press, said Ellen Adler, the imprint's publisher.

He founded the New Press after his highly public departure from Pantheon Books in 1990. At least four other Pantheon editors walked out with him, as did numerous authors.

The Random House CEO at the time said he was "publishing a lot of books that no one wanted to read." Mr. Schiffrin was asked to cut back staff and titles. Instead, he resigned.

The response was unprecedented. More than 200 writers protested outside Random House headquarters. A number of authors left the imprint, including Terkel, The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, and Maus author Spiegelman.

In 2000, one of his works with New Press, John Dower's Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II, won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.

In his later years, Mr. Schiffrin wrote a series of books, including the 2007 memoir A Political Education: Coming of Age in Paris and New York.

He acknowledged running a nonprofit press was a struggle. "People say, 'What are you most proud of?' " he said in a 2007 interview with the Chicago Tribune, "and I say it is surviving. Because there was never an assuredness that we would do so."

- Inquirer wire services