John W. Campbell, Jr.

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(1910 -- July 11, 1971)

John W. Campbell, Jr. was an early sf writer, editor of Astounding from 1938 to 1971, principal creator of the Golden Age of SF, discoverer of Heinlein, Asimov, van Vogt, Sturgeon, and many other writers, great editor, opinionated crank, and all in all, probably the most important and influential person in the history of sf.

He is the main subject of the excellent 2018 biography Astounding, by Lee.

He wrote sf under the pennames of Don A. Stuart (taken from his then-wife's maiden name of Dona Stuart), and Karl van Campen. (As Don Stuart, he was a bit character in Rocket to the Morgue.) Probably his most important writing was done under the Don A. Stuart penname in the 30s. At a time when sf was still basically pulp adventure, he wrote stories which stand up well even today. Probably his most famous story is "Who Goes There?". Other significant Don A. Stuart stories include "Twilight" and "Forgetfulness".

He was one of the two people to have three times been Worldcon GoH: Philcon I, SFCon, and Loncon.

Campbell was a huge correspondent, writing legendary letters to his writers critiquing their stories and often inspiring them. Perry Chapdelaine has published two volumes of the John W. Campbell Letters composed of letters by Campbell.

He attended the First Worldcon.


Enhanced audio of Campbell interviewed by Fred Lerner in 1962 (IA)

Awards, Honors and GoHships:

His list of Hugo nominations and wins is impressive, especially considering that by far the most important part of his career happened before the Hugos were instituted: Under his editorship, Astounding was nominated for Best Professional Magazine from 1953 to 1972, winning in 1953-1957, 1961, 1962, 1964, and 1965. In addition, he won the Best Professional Editor Retro Hugo all three times it was awarded, for 1946, 1951, and 1954.

The Campbell Award is named after him. (It is for new writers, and reflects the enormous impact he had on the field through the discovery, development and encouragement of new writers.) There is also the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, which is different.

Person Search: Fanac, Fan, Pro, SFE, Wikipedia, Reasonator 19101971
Also involved with: 1938 Philadelphia Conference - 1946 Best Professional Editor Retro Hugo - 1951 Best Professional Editor Retro Hugo - 1953 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1954 Best Professional Editor Retro Hugo - 1955 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1956 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1957 Best American Professional Magazine Hugo - 1959 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1960 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1961 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1962 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1963 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1965 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1966 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1967 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1968 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1969 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1970 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1971 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1972 Best Professional Magazine Hugo - 1992 Campbell Award - Bizarre - Boskone II - Buffalo Book Company - Dona Campbell - Edd Cartier - F. Orlin Tremaine - Fantasy Press - First Fandom Hall of Fame - Harry Bates - James H. Schmitz - Jerome Walton - Loncon 1 - Milton A. Rothman - R. D. Swisher
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