Forrest J Ackerman

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Forrest J Ackerman[2] (November 24, 1916 – December 4, 2008) was an American collector of science fiction books and movie memorabilia and a science fiction fan. He was, for over seven decades, one of science fiction's staunchest spokesmen and promoters.

Ackerman was a Los Angeles, California-based magazine editor, science fiction writer and literary agent, a founder of science fiction fandom and possibly the world's most avid collector of genre books and movie memorabilia.[3] He was the editor and principal writer of the American magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, as well as an actor and producer (Vampirella).

Also called "Forry," "The Ackermonster," "4e" and "4SJ," Ackerman was central to the formation, organization, and spread of science fiction fandom, and a key figure in the wider cultural perception of science fiction as a literary, art and film genre. Famous for his word play and neologisms, he coined the genre nickname "sci-fi".[4][5] In 1953, he was voted "#1 Fan Personality" by the members of the World Science Fiction Society, a unique Hugo Award never granted to anyone else.[6]

He was also among the first and most outspoken advocates of Esperanto in the science fiction community.[3][7]


Personal life

Born Forrest James Ackerman (though he would refer to himself from the early 1930s on as "Forrest J Ackerman" with no period after the middle initial) on November 24, 1916 in Los Angeles, to Carroll Cridland Wyman (1883–1977) and William Schilling Ackerman (1892–1951).[8][9] His father was from New York and his mother was from Ohio (the daughter of architect George Wyman); she was nine years older than William.[10] He attended the University of California at Berkeley for a year (1934–1935), worked as a movie projectionist, and spent three years in the U.S. Army after enlisting on August 15, 1942.[9][11]

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