(1920 — February 7, 1986)
Robert Park Mills was born in Missoula, Montana. He was educated at Rutgers University (BA, 1942).
Mills was the managing editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction from its first issue in 1949 (as the Magazine of Fantasy), and was made editor in 1958 following the retirement of Anthony Boucher. He remained in this position until 1962, and was consulting editor through 1966. He was also editor of Venture Science Fiction in 1957-1958. Venture was famous as a SF magazine that allowed stories with adult relationships. In August, 1958 Mills made the decision to continue Isaac Asimov’s science fact essays that had been appearing in Venture, in F&SF. Asimov’s science column regularly appeared in F&SF for the next 30+ years, with Asimov frequently referring to Mills as his “Kindly Editor.”
In 1959 Mills established Robert P. Mills, Ltd., a literary agency that became famous for its SF clients, not selling it until 1983. In the early 1960s he became head of the Literary Department, New York Office, of General Artists Corporation.
First published SF: “The Last Shall Be First” in F&SF (August, 1958); First edited SF book: The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction, Ninth Series (Doubleday, 1960). Under his editorship (with Anthony Boucher) F*SF won the Best Professional Magazine Hugo three times (1959, 1960, 1963) with several more nominations.
In addition to the annual collections of stories from F&SF during his tenure as editor, Mills also edited the following anthologies: Decade of Fantasy and Science Fiction (1960); The Worlds of Science Fiction (1963); and Twenty Years of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (1970), the last co-edited with E. L. Ferman.
For more on his career, see http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/entry/mills_robert_p