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Sample Autograph Signature: Forrest J. Ackerman

American science fiction writer, editor, literary agent, actor and legendary fan and collector. Forrest James Ackerman (no period after the middle initial) was born in 1916 in Los Angeles, CA and became the first cheerleader for the wider cultural acceptance of sci-fi as a respectable literary, art and film genre. It all started, he says, in October 1926 when he read his first sci-fi magazine, Amazing Stories. By the early 1930s he was subscribing to about 9 sci-fi magazines, and became such a prolific letter writer that in some of them he often had letters appearing in every issue. After only 13 years on this planet, he won a contest sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle for teenagers for his story about a trip to Mars; and the same year he founded "The Boys Scientifiction Club," which was a correspondence club that also required lending reading material between members. By 1933 he had 127 correspondents around the world. Always on the cutting edge of SF, he contributed articles to the first SF fanzine, The Time Traveler, including its first issue in 1932 where he presented the first known list of sci-fi and horror films on its first page. By 1933 he had become the first "Scientifilm" editor of Science Fiction Digest. The following year he became the first honorary member of the Science Fiction League, the first sci-fi fan organization, as well as the first charter member of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. Later in 1941, he would also help found the National Fantasy Fan Federation, an organization that combined fans of SF, horror, and fantasy literature under one category. He attended the 1st World Science Fiction Convention in 1939 costumed in futuristic garb that set the precedent for their annual masquerade balls. Ackerman enlisted in the Army in World War II and served 3 1/2 years at Fort MacArthur as the co-editor of its wartime newspaper, the second most popular. Discharged in 1944, that same year Ackerman published the first edition of The Fancyclopedia. In 1948, he became a literary agent who would come to have approximately 200 clients, although he is also is credited with nurturing and inspiring the careers of Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, Charles Beaumont, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and L. Ron Hubbard (for whom he later became an agent). Ackerman has appeared in over 50 film cameos, but concedes, "My film career has lasted over 50 years and my total time on film is probably less than an hour." In 1957 he became the first editor-writer of the fan magazine, Famous Monsters of Filmland, a position he held until its demise in 1983. He has also edited other film fan magazines such as Monster World, Spacemen and Women and Forrest J. Ackerman's Filmonsterzine. Ackerman is also responsible for arranging the U.S. publication of English translations of the German series Perry Rhodan, the longest sci-fi series in history. His wife did most of the translating and Ace Books published the series from 1969 through 1977. Ackerman has had 50 stories of his own published, including collaborations with A. E. van Vogt, Francis Flagg, Robert A. W. Lowndes, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Donald Wolheim and Catherine Moore. The comic book heroine, Vampirella, who first appeared in 1969, was his most famous creation. Ackerman has authored or co-authored non-fiction books, published anthologies, and edited and co-edited other books in his genres. As the ultimate sci-fi (a term he coined in 1954) fan, he began collecting SF, fantasy and horror film memorabilia from movie studios when he was 13. He has amassed one of the largest collections of such memorabilia and literature in the world. Until 2002, his 300,000 piece collection was housed in his home/museum (the "Ackermansion") in Los Angeles, and was the subject of the 1992 movie, Forrest J. Ackerman's Amazing Worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Ackerman is the recipient of 6 Hugos and 2 Golden Saturns from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films.

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