Russ Woodman

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(June 7, 1930 – May 26, 1951)

Russell Harold Woodman, a Portland, Maine, fan, claimed to have been the first Black faned. Harry Warner wrote in All Our Yesterdays that Woodman “published four issues of a good fanzine named Triton, contributed well-liked manuscripts to other fanzines, and along with Ed Cox threatened to revive Maine fandom at the end of the forties. Then he gafiated suddenly and completely and wrote to me on May 24, 1949: ‘Perhaps a storm wave would sweep certain frontiers of the fan world if I had stayed in publishing long enough to reveal that I am a Negro. That fact would have surprised a lot of people, I think.’”

It would have been especially surprising since census records for Woodman, his sister and their parents all say they were white. So unless Woodman was outing his family — his father’s forebears had lived as white in Maine since the 1800s — he was likely pulling a hoax on Warner.

He was killed in 1951 while serving in the U.S. Infantry during the Korean War.

Person 19301951
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