Edward E. Fitzgerald, 81, a sports author and editor who headed the Book-of-the-Month Club during its peak membership years. Fitzgerald helped direct the club from 1973 to 1984, a period in which the marketer shifted its focus from general-interest hardcover books to a wide selection of titles and specialty clubs. Fitzgerald also founded the Quality Paperback Book Club and co-wrote several autobiographies of sports figures, including Althea Gibson, Yogi Berra, Mel Allen and Johnny Unitas. He also served as editor of Sport magazine in the 1950s and as editor and publisher of Sports Inc. magazine when it was launched in 1987 by Times Mirror Co. In 1960, Fitzgerald was named president of Doubleday's book division, which included its book club, the Literary Guild. In 1968, he moved to McCall's Magazine Group, publisher of McCall's, Redbook and the Saturday Review. On Feb. 11 in New Rochelle, N.Y., after a stroke.