The collection consists of materials relating to the life of Rob Cole, in particular his career as editor of the
Advocate (1970-1974), as unnamed contributor to the
Forum of Southern California (1974), and as founder and first editor of
NewsWest (1975). The documents, including correspondence, draft articles, administrative, legal, and financial records, shed light
on Cole's role as the first professional newspaperman to run a gay newspaper in Los Angeles. The collection also contains
the newsroom copy of the
Advocate for 1967-1968, the two issues of the
Forum of Southern California (1974), an incomplete run of
NewsWest (1975-1977), and the single issue of Out! which succeeded
NewsWest in 1977. The print material is supplemented by a significant number of photographs published by or submitted to the
NewsWest. The collection also contains materials documenting Cole's association with the Christopher Street West Association, of which
he was a founder. The records include board minutes, souvenir programs, newsletter and public relations campaign materials,
photographs, videotapes, buttons, and t-shirts.
Frederick Robinson Cole was born in Dallas,Texas, on July 27, 1930. A self-described "loner", he suppressed his homosexuality
until the September 1969, when, while on vacation in Los Angeles, he was introduced to the newly formed Metropolitan Community
Church. The following year, after 15 years as an editor at the Dallas Times-Herald, he moved to Los Angeles and joined the Advocate as news editor, the first news professional to work at the paper. During his tenure, Cole transformed the paper from a local
Los Angeles bar rag to a respectable newspaper with national news coverage. Cole not only assigned and edited stories, but
often wrote them, covering serious issues such as conditions for gays in jails, psychiatric abuse, and gays in religion.
Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the
physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE
National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.