Frederick Gale Ruffner Jr., who founded the Gale Research Co. in 1956, passed away on August 12 at the age of 88, following a long illness.

The company, which Ruffner sold in 1985 for $66 million to International Thomson, published more than 2,000 books. It operates today as a division of Cengage Learning.

“The impact of Gale Research cannot be overestimated in both commerce and library services and science,” Fred Ciporen, former publisher of Publishers Weekly, told the Detroit Free Press.

A memorial service for Ruffner is planned for September.