Ben Singer

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Ben Singer with Nancy Moore at Midwestcon 2 in 1951.

(1931 – 2012)

Benjamin Donald Singer was active in fandom during the 1940s and ’50s in Detroit, Michigan, where he was a founder and workhorse of the Misfits sf club. He attended Beercon in 1948.

He was Nancy Moore’s boyfriend before she married Hal Shapiro.

Singer published the fanzine Mutant before turning it over to the Detroit club as its Official Organ. He also contributed to Art Rapp's Spacewarp. He published United Fandom with George Young.

In 1951, as reported in Odd 12, p. 52, Singer, an unmitigated prankster, sent fellow Misfit Norm Kossuth an unsigned threatening letter. Kossuth promptly took the letter to the FBI.

The two had been friends, collaborating on humorous stfnal recordings, but when, about three months later, Singer admitted that it was he who had sent the letter, Kossuth replied, "You’ll be having visitors soon!" and reported it to the feds. They questioned Singer, who told them he belonged to the Misfits and that many of the members were Communists. This caused Bennett Sims, president of the club, to be investigated, too. Sims was so disgusted he re­signed his position.

Singer was a friend of Ray Nelson’s, and he and Nelson both worked for the Hudson Motor Company. When Nelson lived in Paris, Singer visited him there. Still later, they were fellow members of CAPA. Other CAPA members during the time Singer and Nelson were members included Howard DeVore, Len and June Moffatt, Jim and Barbara Harmon, and Jon D. Swartz.

In the early 1950s, Singer published two stories in Future Science Fiction.

In mundane life, Singer became a sociologist and lived and taught in Canada for many years. Presumably, he learned how to “Say Something in Canadian.” For several years, he was on the faculty of Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. His wife, Eleanore, “barely tolerated fandom,” according to Howard DeVore. His daughter, Heidi, is a journalist in New York City.



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