Louis Russell Chauvenet

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(February 12, 1920 – June 24, 2003)

Nigel Rowe, left, and Louis Russell Chauvenet at Corflu Nova (1984). Courtesy of Rich Lynch.

Louis Russell “Russ” Chauvenet (sometimes nicknamedElarcy,” to his displeasure) started reading SF at age 11 with "Awlo of Ulm" by S. P. Meek (Amazing, September 1931). His first contact with other fans came with meeting R. D. Swisher in the 1930s and reading his fanzines.

He was one of the founders of SF Fandom and of The Stranger Club of Boston. (The Stranger Club was the FGoH of the 1989 Worldcon, Noreascon 3) With Damon Knight and Art Widner he also co-founded the N3F (he was President in 1941–1942 and at one time in 1944 he and Samuel D. Russell were the only members in good standing), and was a member of First Fandom.

In the October 1940 issue of his fanzine Detours, Chauvenet coined the word fanzine and is generally also credited with originating the word prozine years later.

He was for many years a member of FAPA. Hokum House Publications and Aimless Press were his publishing houses.

In mundane life, Chauvenet was the U.S. Amateur Chess Champion in 1959, as well as state champion for Virginia in 1942 through 1948 and for Maryland in 1963, 1969 and 1976. He also wrote columns for Chess Life. Chauvenet reached the level of Expert, a rating better than nine out of 10 chess players involved in tournament play. He was also an avid sailor, built his own Windmill class sailboat, and participated in regattas.

He became completely deaf in 1930 at age 10, after suffering cerebro-spinal meningitis. He attended Central Institute for the Deaf and Wright Oral School, before graduating from Belmont Hill Preparatory School. He went on to Harvard, Boston College and the University of Virginia, receiving a bachelor of science in biology in 1943 and a master of science in chemistry in 1948 from Virginia. From 1943–46, he was employed by the Calco Chemical Company in New Jersey, after which he worked with computers as a civilian employee of the U.S. Department of Defense from 1948 until his retirement.

From Fancyclopedia 1, ca. 1944
(Ackerman) Elarcy - Nickname for LRC Louis Russell Chauvenet, to which he has an aversion

More reading:[edit]

Fanzines and Apazines:

See also: Celebrity Fen.

Person 19202003
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