He died of cancer at his New York City home, said Selina Meere, spokeswoman for Workman Publishing Co.
Workman was founder, president and CEO of one of the largest independent publishers of nonfiction trade books and calendars.
Titles also include such favorites as the boxed Page-A-Day Calendar, "The Official Preppy Handbook" and "The Silver Palate Cookbook."
In addition to the Workman imprint, the company consists of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Artisan, Storey Books, Timber Press, and HighBridge Audio.
A Long Island native, Workman was a Yale University graduate.
After a job in the sales department of Dell Publishing, he founded Workman in 1967 as a book packager. Within two years, its inaugural list led with Richard Hittleman's "Yoga 28-Day Exercise Plan," which is still in print.
Workman bestsellers also include are B. Kliban's "Cat," Sandra Boynton's children's books, and "1,000 Places To See Before You Die." Artisan published chef Thomas Keller's "The French Laundry Cookbook."
He is survived by his widow, Carolan Raskin Workman, their two daughters and four grandchildren.