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Mike Hippler papers
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Collection Overview
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The Mike Hippler papers document the author’s personal life and literary accomplishments, and chronicle nearly two decades of gay life in San Francisco and beyond. Hippler (1952-1991) was an award-winning columnist for the “Bay Area Reporter” for nearly a decade, from 1982 to 1991. He was also the biographer of Leonard Matlovich (“Matlovich: The Good Soldier,” 1989) and author of “So Little Time: Essays on Gay Life” (1990). In addition, Hippler wrote for numerous other publications and wrote several unpublished novels. and informative component of the collection. These diaries cover the greater part of Hippler’s adult life, from 1971 until his death in 1991. They chronicle not only the meaningful events of his life but also those he wrote about in the BAR and other LGBT publications. The writings are a complete record of Hippler’s literary achievements over the last 10 years of his life. They include drafts for his published and unpublished works, including “Blue Thursday,” his overview of how the gay community confronted the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. The subject files supplement Hippler’s diaries with information about various aspects of his personal and professional life, and the oral histories include recorded interviews with Matlovich, Cleve Jones, Cheryl Crane and Randy Shilts. With very few exceptions the collection’s original order was maintained, as Mike Hippler imposed a good sense of organization on all his work, collected materials and correspondence.
Born in Bethesda, Maryland on February 7, 1952, Mike Hippler spent his formative years in Atlanta and graduated magna cum laude from Duke University in 1974 with a degree in English. After teaching high school English for two years in Covington, Virginia and one year in Los Angeles, he studied dance on a scholarship from the Joffrey Ballet in New York City before moving to San Francisco in 1979. Two years later he received his Masters degree in secondary education from San Francisco State University. In 1982 Mike Hippler became a columnist for the “Bay Area Reporter,” where he covered and commented on the political struggles and personal short-comings in the gay community, as well as his own life. A prolific writer, he held this position for nearly a decade, earning three consecutive Cable Car Awards and a place in their Hall of Honor. His work also appeared in the “Advocate” and “New York Native.” Hippler was also the author of “So Little Time: Essays on Gay Life,” and “Matlovich: The Good Soldier.” He died of complications due to HIV infection on April 2, 1991.
7 linear feet (7 cartons)
Copyright was transferred to the GLBT Historical Society. Hippler made the GLBT Historical Society the literary executor of his estate, meaning it inherits all financial proceeds and publishing rights.
Collection is open for research with the exception of medical records in Carton 2. Funding for processing this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).