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Finding aid of the Frank Robinson papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Frank Robinson papers
    Dates: 1929-1989
    Collection number: 2000-16
    Creator: Robinson, Frank
    Collection Size: 14 Linear Feet
    Repository: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society
    San Francisco, California 94105
    Abstract: This is Robinson's collection of fully arranged clippings related to AIDS.
    Physical location: Stored at the Archives of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society in San Francisco, California.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

    Preferred Citation

    Frank Robinson papers, 2000-16, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by Frank Robinson on March 21, 2000.


    Frank M. Robinson, born in 1926 in Chicago, is a novelist and former journalist. He was also a good friend of Harvey Milk. During his teen years, Robinson worked as a copyboy for the International News Service, later he became an office boy for Ziff-Davis, a science fiction publisher. He indulged his interest in comic books, particularly science fiction-themed comic books, while working there.
    Robinson was drafted into the Navy in late 1943. Once out of the service he went to college and majored in physics, graduatin cum laude. His first story was published in Astounding the year he graduated.
    He reenlisted in the Navy during the Korean War. He continued to write while in the service and once he left the Navy he went to graduate school in journalism. Upon graduating he worked on a Chicago-based Sunday supplement before moving to Science Digest.
    During these years, Robinson wrote his first novel, The Power. He then became an editor at Rogue Magazine, where the editorial staff included Lenny Bruce. When Rogue Magazine folded, Robinson moved to Los Angeles, where he was an editor for Gallery. A year later Gallery was sold and Robinson moved to San Francisco where, he "became an overage quasi-hippie." He eventually moved back to Chicago to work for Playboy as an advice columnist.
    After three years in Chicago Robinson moved back to San Francisco, where he collaborated with the late Tom Scortia on The Glass Inferno, which was made into the film The Towering Inferno. Robinson then went on to publish several more books, including a mystery, a political thriller and several techno-thrillers. He then returned to science fiction with The Dark Beyond the Stars, for which he won a Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Science Fiction in 1991. Robinson then published Waiting, and two coffee table books - Pulp Culture and Science Fiction of the 20th Century. His novel, The Donor, was published in 2004.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection consists entirely of Robinson???s clippings related to AIDS/HIV, GLBT rights, activism and healthcare, as well as various other causes in which Robinson participated. The collection is organized alphabetically into one series, Clippings. The order of the materials reflects Robinson???s original order as it was donated to the archive. Researchers will find these materials and their categories and arrangement useful as a source for understanding how a person who has lived in San Francisco for the past 30 years has perceived the important issues of the day, particular those relating to the development of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Among the materials found in this series are newspaper clippings, academic and magazine articles, brochures, flyers, correspondence and various ephemera. Robinson's original order and headings have been preserved.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    AIDS (disease)