Klaus Flugge was born in Hamburg in 1934, apprenticed to a bookshop and sent to Book Trade School in Leipzig. He emigrated to America at the age of 23 as an East German refugee who spoke only German and Russian. After a variety of jobs, and two years as an American GI, he was offered a job working as a Personal Assistant to Lew Schwartz, owner of Abelard-Schuman publishing in New York. After only a year and a half Schwartz suggested he go to Europe to build up the very small list they had there and came to London in 1961. He launched Andersen Press – named after Hans Christian Andersen - in the autumn of 1976.
In 1999, he became the first publisher to receive the Eleanor Farjeon Award for outstanding contribution to children’s books and in 2010 he became only the second publisher to be awarded Honorary Membership of the Youth Libraries Group. In 2013 Klaus was made an honorary citizen of the City of Bologna in recognition of his commitment to children's books abroad.
The Klaus Flugge Prize is funded personally by Klaus Flugge and run independently of Andersen Press.