Wendayne Ackerman

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(November 4, 1912 – March 5, 1990)

Wendayne “Wendy” Ackerman, born Mathilde (Malka) Wahrman in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, was a translator and fan.

She left Germany in 1933, escaping antisemitism, and went to France, then England, where she was a nurse in London during WW II. After the war, she moved to Israel where she married, becoming Tilly Porjes, and had a son, Michael Porjes. In 1948, after a divorce, she immigrated to Los Angeles.

She loved fantasy, and met Forrest J Ackerman in a Los Angeles department store where she worked as a clerk selling books. She attended the first Westercon in 1948.

For a time, she was known as Wendayne Mondelle, the name a creation of FJA’s. She was called “Wendy.” She sometimes used Wendayne Wahrman as a penname. In the 1950 Fan Directory, she was listed under Mondelle, with notations that she belonged to LASFS and the Outlander Society.

She and Forry married in 1949. After nine years of marriage, they divorced — but, after a brief hiatus, remained friends and companions, reconciling and remarrying in 1972. She traveled with him extensively.

In the 1960s, FJA acquired U.S. publication rights for the Perry Rodan SF series. Wendayne did most of the translations. She also translated works by Stanislaw Lem and others. She spoke German, French, Spanish, Italian and Hebrew. She had a degree in biology, taught science in high school, and acquired an M.A. in her 40s. She then taught German and French for 20 years at East Los Angeles Jr. College.

Ackerman said that when he first coined the term sci-fi, for which he is known today, she told him it would never catch on. After her death, FJA wrote a moving account of her life (collected in Mr. Monster), revealing among other things that she was Jewish, the reason she had been dismissed from Goethe University in the 1930s, where she had been a pre-med student.

While vacationing with Forry in Italy, Wendayne was injured in a mugging, causing kidney issues that led to her death when she refused to continue dialysis.


Awards, Honors and GoHships:


Person 19121990
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