Frederik Pohl

(Nov. 26, 1919 – Sept 2, 2013)

Frederik Pohl was one of the most active early fans, a creator of fandom-as-we-know-it, who remained a fan until his death. In a professional career spanning over 75 years, he was one of the major professional writers and editors in the field, as well as an influential literary agent.

In the 1930s, while in his teens in New York, he helped to found the Futurians and, after Don Wollheim and John Michel, may been the most influential fan in that faction of fandom. He promoted a Futurian Federation of the World. He was one of the Quadrumvirs.

He attended the First Convention, hijacked an elevator at the Third Eastern Convention and named it Shaggoth 6, and participated in an unfortunate foray into gastronomy in creating the Science Fiction Special. He was Official Editor of the NYBISA, and launched the Science Fiction Poets' Guild in 1938. He edited the fanzines, Mind of Man, Arcturus, and International Observer.

He was one of the six Futurians prevented from attending the First Worldcon by the Exclusion Act.

He was Worldcon GoH at L.A.Con in 1972.

Fred won the 1973 Best Short Story Hugo, the 1978 Best Novel Hugo, the 1986 Best Short Story Hugo, and the 2010 Best Fan Writer Hugo. IF, under his editorship, won the Best Professional Magazine Hugo three times (1966-1968) and received nominations in 1965 and 1969.

He was nominated for the 1954 Best Professional Editor Retro Hugo, the 1954 Best Short Story Retro Hugo, the 1965 Best Professional Magazine Hugo, the 1973 Best Novella Hugo, the 1977 Best Novel Hugo, the 1980 Best Novel Hugo, the 1981 Best Novel Hugo, the 1984 Best Short Story Hugo, and the 1993 Best Novella Hugo.

He was the Most Senior SF Writer for seven years.

His memoir The Way the Future Was is an essential work of fan history. He wrote for such zines as Algol, Xero and Trap Door, and at age 90, started The Way the Future Blogs, a weblog recounting his reminiscences as a fan and pro; on the strength of it, he won the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. In his early years, he published the fanzines The International Observer of Science and Science Fiction. Along with Jack Gillespie, he was formally censured by the Futurians in late 1941 for describing their fanzine, Futurian Review, as the club's official organ

He wrote reminiscences of several Worldcons for the Noreascon Three PB:

He was editor of Galaxy and IF from 1961 to 1969, edited the Star Science Fiction series for Ballantine, and worked at Ace. He was President of SFWA in 1974.

His pseudonyms included: Edson McCann, Jordan Park, Elton V. Andrews, Paul Fleur, Warren F. Howard, Scott Mariner, Ernst Mason, James McCreigh, Dirk Wilson, and Donald Stacy.

He was married five times. His first wife, Leslie Perri, was another Futurian; they were married in 1940 and divorced in 1944. He then married Dorothy LesTina in Paris in 1945 while both were serving in the military in Europe; the marriage ended in 1947. In 1948, he married Judith Merril; they had a daughter, Ann. They divorced in 1952. In 1953, he married Carol M. Ulf Stanton, with whom he had three children and collaborated on several books; they separated in 1977 and were divorced in 1983. In 1984, he married sf academic Elizabeth Anne Hull and moved to the Chicago area after a lifetime in New York and New Jersey.

He was the grandfather of Emily Pohl-Weary, Ann's daughter, herself a Hugo-nominated writer.

Other Awards, Honors and GoHships:


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