Louis D. Rubin, prolific author and patron of Southern writers.

Louis D. Rubin, Jr., a curmudgeonly patron of contemporary Southern writing who as an author, teacher, editor and publisher helped establish and advance the careers of John Barth, Annie Dillard and dozens of others, has died. He was 89.

Eva Redfield Rubin said her husband, who lived at a North Carolina retirement home, died Saturday, just three days before his 90th birthday.

A Charleston, S.C., native who switched from journalism to academia in the 1950s, Rubin for decades mentored and published Southern writers. He was among the first to write a scholarly analysis on the posthumous reputation of Thomas Wolfe, taught such future stars as Barth, Dillard and Kaye Gibbons and, through Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, published fiction by Clyde Edgerton, Jill McCorkle, Lee Smith and many more.