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Paul Lorch collection
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The Paul Lorch Collection consists of three boxes of materials that include writings by Lorch and others that document the AIDS epidemic, Harvey Milk and other topics related to the Gay Rights Movement and San Francisco’s gay community in general.
Paul F. Lorch was born on May 10, 1932 in New York and grew up in the Bronx. He attended Regis High School in Manhattan, a private, all male, Jesuit secondary school. His parents were Paul F. Lorch and Olive (nee McArdle) Lorch and he had an older brother Frederick and a younger sister Olive. Mr. Lorch graduated from the University of Toronto. Prior to moving to California in the late 1950s, Lorch served in the U.S. Army. It was a friend from his Army days that encouraged him to move to Sacramento. In 1963 he received an MA in English from California State University, Sacramento. The title of his thesis is Hart Crane and “For the Marriage of Faustus and Helen”: A Study in Influences and Development. In 1964 Lorch joined the faculty of the American River Junior College as an English teacher. While living and teaching in Sacramento, Lorch made frequent trips to San Francisco where he eventually moved. Between 1973 and 1984, Lorch was a contributor to the San Francisco’s Bay Area Reporter (B.A.R.), the oldest continuously published lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender weekly newspaper in the United States. He used the pseudonym Paul Francis Hartman, writing a series of columns titled “The Men in My Life.” In 1976, Lorch became the editor of B.A.R. and later wrote for the San Francisco Sentinel, a weekly newspaper established in 1974 to serve the LGBT communities of the Bay Area, and had a regular column called “Culture Clash.” In 1981, Lorch was appointed to the 15 member Commission on Personal Privacy to study discrimination against homosexuals by California State Governor Jerry Brown. Lorch gained notoriety for his opposition to closing San Francisco bathhouses to stem the spread of AIDS. He published an “enemies list” of 15 gay men and one lesbian who supported bathhouse closure in an infamous April 5, 1984 B.A.R. editorial which he signed “Killing the Movement.” Lorch was adamant that outlawing gay spaces would be akin to “killing the movement.” Lorch died on July 21, 2012 at his home in Guerneville. He was 86.
3 boxes
The library can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claimants of literary property.
Collection is open for research by appointment.