Walter H. Breen

(September 5, 1930 — 1993)

Breen was an American fan and author. He was an active member of fandom for much of his life. He wrote for fanzines, and took over editorship of the fanzine Fanac from Terry Carr and Ron Ellik, though he was unable to retain the elan which made their issues so important.

He published Olla Podrida (for OMPA), Allerlei (for FAPA), Tesseract and Sapterranean. He was also in CRAP, SAPS, The Cult, and IPSO. He also published Admirable Crycon and two issues of An Egoboo a Day from All Over as riders to Fanac. The Walter Breen Appreciation Issue was published in his honor by Dave Rike in June 1962. He was a member of the Futurian Society of New York (the 50s club), the Fanoclasts, LASFS and the Golden Gate Futurians.

The central fact of Breen's fannish life was the Breendoggle (aka Breen Boondoggle). There had been rumors and suspicions for years that he had molested young boys. In 1963, the Pacificon II committee acted to ban him from the 1964 Worldcon. Unfortunately, they went about it in a fairly hamfisted way and All Fandom Was Plunged Into War.

Breen was arrested on child molestation charges in 1990. He accepted a plea bargain, which resulted in three years' probation. A year later, he was charged with eight felony counts of child molestation involving a 13-year-old boy. Though diagnosed with liver cancer in 1992, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He died in prison in Chino, California, on April 27, 1993.

He married SF writer Marion Zimmer Bradley on June 3, 1964. They had two children and separated in 1979. After their separation, Breen moved to Oakland, California. They officially divorced on May 9, 1990.

He was also well-known among coin collectors for writing Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins.

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