Bob Madle

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(June 2, 1920 – October 8, 2022)

Bob Madle at Loncon, 1957.

Robert Albert Madle, who died at age 102 in October 2022, was the last of the First Fans. He was Worldcon FGoH at SunCon in 1977, and was nominated for the 1956 Best Feature Writer Hugo.

An eo-fan, Bob started reading sf in 1933 and was an active fan by 1935. He attended the First Convention in 1936, the first Worldcon in 1939, and Boskone I in 1941. He was co-founder of PSFS and one of the Phillies, as well as part of the Philly slate which challenged the Wollheimists in the FAPA election of 1938 and a member of the committee for Philcon, the 1947 Worldcon.

Madle was TAFF winner in 1957 (and published A Fake Fan in London as his trip report). He published Fantascience Digest.

He founded the Carolina SF Society in Charlotte, NC, in the early 1950s, was a founder of the First Fandom club, a Trustee of WSFA in the 1960s, member of the Washington in '77 Worldcon bid, and for many years was a highly respected huckster, a role he continued by mail-order.


The majority of the attendees of the world's first science fiction convention in 1936, from left: Oswald Train, Donald A. Wollheim, Milton A. Rothman, Frederik Pohl, John B. Michel, William S. Sykora (holding the NYB-ISA flag), David A. Kyle, and Robert Madle. They're standing in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Photo by Herbert E. Goudket.


During the first Worldcon in 1939, fans took the opportunity to visit Coney Island, where this foto-op took place. Front, from left: Mark Reinsberg, Jack Agnew, Ross Rocklynne. Rear: Vincent Kidwell, Robert Madle, Erle Korshak, Ray Bradbury, July 4, 1939. Courtesy of Robert Madle.


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