Donald Wollheim

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Donald A. Wollheim was a fanzine publisher, science fiction editor, writer, and fan from New York, U.S.A.

He began publishing zines with The Phantagraph, released in the 1930s. The Phantagraph was the retitled continuation of Wilson Shepherd's club magazine, The International Science Fiction Guild's Bulletin, a 4 page hektographed publication which first appeared in May of 1934. In July-August 1935 the first issue edited by Wollheim appeared. He would soon be publishing the best writers of the day in its pages, such as August Derleth, Cyril Kornbluth, Henry Kuttner, Frank Belknap Long, Lilith Lorraine, H. P. Lovecraft, Robert Lowndes, A. Merritt, Emil Petaja, Frederik Pohl, and Clark Ashton Smith.

Wollheim contributed to many fanzines, as well as writing many letters. He organized the first Science Fiction convention in Philadelphia on October 22, 1936 where plans were formed for other meetings around the country including the first Worldcon.

Wollheim may be best known for founding the Fantasy Amateur Press Association in 1937, which has enabled hundreds of science fiction fans to publish zines.

In 1938 he founded The Futurians, a science fiction club that had a significant impact on SF fandom. At the inception, their purpose was to combine SF with a political direction, notably left wing. Later on the focus on politics faded, and interest was concentrated on SF.

In 1943 he married fellow Futurian Elsie Balter, who was soon editing her own fanzine, High Points, which Donald Wollheim contributed to.

Wollheim published many articles in the pulp magazines of the day, as well as a number of novels. He was also editor of several anthologies, and worked for different publishing houses releasing paperback editions of important authors such as A. Merritt and H.P. Lovecraft for Avon, and Philip K. Dick, Samuel Delany, Ursula K. Le Guin and many others for Ace, and Kenneth Bulmer, John Brunner, Andre Norton and A. E. van Vogt for DAW, his own publishing house.