Sonny Mehta, the editor-in-chief of publishing house Alfred A Knopf, has died, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Tuesday. Mehta was Patnaik’s brother-in-law. He was 76.

“He was one of the world’s best editors and an extremely civilised person,” Patnaik tweeted. “May his soul rest in peace.”

Mehta was also the chairperson of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group in New York, Odisha Television reported. Born in 1942, Mehta was the son of Amrik Singh Mehta, who was among the earliest diplomats of independent India.

Mehta studied at Sanawar School in India and Sevenoaks School in the United Kingdom, where he won an open scholarship to Cambridge University. He acquired degrees in history and English literature, and also edited the magazine Granta.