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Finding aid to the Cliff Anchor Papers, 1916, 1950s-2000 GLC 49
GLC 49  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Provenance
  • Related materials
  • Materials Transferred
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Cliff Anchor Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1916, 1950s-2000
    Date (bulk): 1950-2000
    Collection Identifier: GLC 49
    Creator: Anchor, Cliff
    Physical Description: 6 cartons, 3 oversized folders (6.0 cubic feet)
    Contributing Institution: James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94102
    (415) 557-4400
    Abstract: The collection documents the life of Cliff Anchor (also known as Michael Erickson), a gay rights activist, military man and radio broadcaster. These documents include speeches, correspondence, papers related to military service, materials related to Leonard Matlovich and Dr. Tom Dooley, documents related to radio station KRJB and American Legion Alexander Hamilton Post #448, clippings, photographs, VHS videos, audiotapes, and artifacts.
    Physical Location: The collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.


    The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Collections that are stored offsite should be requested 48 hours in advance.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Cliff Anchor Papers (GLC 49), Gay and Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library.


    The Cliff Anchor Papers were donated by Robert Booth, 2000.

    Related materials

    Researchers are encouraged to see also the Leonard P. Matlovich Collection (GLC 6) on deposit at the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, as well as the Randy Shilts Papers (GLC 43). Randy Shilts' book Conduct Unbecoming: Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military (New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1994) discusses Anchor's relationships with both Matlovich and Tom Dooley.

    Materials Transferred

    Postcards were removed from this collection to the San Francisco History Center postcard collection. See Appendix A. Dr. Tom Dooley's Three Great Books is also cataloged separately though a photocopy copy of Cliff Anchor's inscription is included in this collection.

    Biographical Note

    Although Cliff Anchor was romantically involved with two men more famous than himself (namely, Dr. Tom Dooley and Vietnam veteran Leonard Matlovich), he was an accomplished person in his own right--a military man, radio broadcaster, and gay rights activist.
    Anchor was born in Walton, Waterloo, England on August 20, 1936. At the age of 17, Anchor immigrated to Canada and changed his name to Michael Erickson. In 1959, at the age of 23, he met his first lover, Dr. Thomas Dooley, a U.S. Navy doctor famous for his work with Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Southeast Asia.
    In the early 1960s, Anchor (then still known as Erickson) moved to San Francisco and began working in the radio industry. He became a U.S. citizen in 1966, and joined the California National Guard in 1973, eventually reaching the rank of Lt. Colonel. Around this time, he also began operating radio station KRJB-FM based in Monte Rio, California. KRJB-FM was notable not just for the variety of programming it featured – from community affairs to music to military news – but it was also the very first station in the country to air National Gay Network News.
    In 1979, Anchor met gay rights activist Leonard P. Matlovich through mutual friends in San Francisco. A courtship ensued, and the two agreed to settle down together in Guerneville, California. In 1985, Anchor sold KRJB-FM, and in 1988 Matlovich died. With major chapters of his life coming to an end, Anchor decided to fully come out of the closet and also reclaim his birth name – Cliff Anchor. Not forgetting his commitment to service for his country, Anchor volunteered for several military intelligence missions in the early 1990s.
    By the mid-1990s, Anchor was an outspoken advocate for gay rights at various levels, particularly within the U.S. Military. He was featured prominently in the book One Million Strong: The 1993 March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Rights, as well as the book Conduct Unbecoming by Randy Shilts on gays in the military. By the end of his life, Anchor had served on a seemingly infinite number of civic and activist posts, including Vice Commander of the Alexander Hamilton Post #448 of the American Legion in San Francisco, the only GLBT post in the nation. Anchor died on July 18, 2000, at his home on the Russian River.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection comprises materials that Cliff Anchor, a prominent activist for gays in the military, authored or kept in his private possession from 1959 to 2000. These documents include speeches, correspondence, papers related to military service, materials related to Leonard Matlovich's memorial, documents related to radio station KRJB and American Legion Alexander Hamilton Post #448, clippings, photographs, VHS videos, and artifacts.


    The collection is arranged into six series, with subseries as noted. Materials are arranged chronologically within each series and subseries.

    Series 1. Personal Correspondence and Papers

    1. General Personal Correspondence
    2. Volunteer Projects
    3. Materials Related to Tom Dooley
    4. Materials Related to Leonard Matlovich

    Series 2. Professional Correspondence and Papers

    1. General Professional Correspondence
    2. Speeches and Editorials
    3. Alexander Hamilton Post #448
    4. KRJB Radio
    5. Military Intelligence Papers
    6. Campaign for Sonoma County Supervisor
    7. Certificates & Awards

    Series 3. Clippings

    1. Articles written by Anchor
    2. Clippings about Anchor
    3. General clippings
    Series 4. Audiovisual Materials

    Series 5. Photographs

    1. Personal
    2. Dooley
    3. Matlovich
    4. Military
    5. Radio Station
    Series 6. Artifacts

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    American Legion. Alexander Hamilton Post No. 448 (San Francisco, Calif.).
    Anchor, Cliff--Archives
    Booth, Robert
    Dooley, Thomas A., (Thomas Anthony), 1927-1961
    KRJB (Radio station : Monte Rio, Calif.).
    Matlovich, Leonard
    Gay liberation movement--California--San Francisco.
    Gay military personnel--United States.
    Gay soldiers--United States.
    Gays--California--San Francisco--Social life and customs--20th century.
    Homophobia in the Armed Forces.
    Radio broadcasters--California--Monte Rio.
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Biography