By John Hertz: Bob Madle lived to see his 100th birthday. SaM did not; he left the stage in 1997. It would have been today. Let us salute him.
Here they both are at Philadelphia in 1937. Standing, left to right: Donald A. Wollheim, Madle, Richard Wilson, SaM, Dave Kyle, Daniel Burford, Julie Schwartz, Leon Burg. Kneeling: Robert G. Thompson, Edward Landberg, Jack Gillespie, James V. Taurasi, Oswald Train.
This photo appears on Page 89 of The Immortal Storm (rev. 1954), SaM’s history of fandom’s earliest days – which you can read here.
This book has been praised and pilloried. Both those perspectives are pure.
SaM’s endless care and endless vigor deserve applause. His more than occasional errors deserve – well, I’ll quote again a brilliant law professor I was lucky to have and often disagreed with: he was speaking of a greater man in history, with whom he disagreed powerfully – There’s a sense in which a genius can’t be wrong.
SaM chaired the first Worldcon. That convention may have been the bravest thing we ever did – except for the second Worldcon.
For Noreascon 3 the 47th Worldcon he wrote profiles of the 1st, 9th, 12th, 13th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 22nd.
He wrote for Locus and SF Chronicle.
He edited a score of anthologies. He edited Fantasy Times and the 1973 revival of Weird Tales. He reviewed books for SF Plus and Fantastic Novels. While Cele Goldsmith was the editor of Amazing he wrote two dozen profiles of SF authors, including Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein, Moore.
He published a dozen short stories, one of which was translated into Dutch, French, German, Portuguese.
Near the end Jeffrey Elliot interviewed him by mail and Fred Lerner edited the correspondence into After All These Years (1991).
He was an unsurpassed collector, equaled perhaps only by Forry Ackerman.
He was given the Big Heart, our highest service award. He was given the SF Research Association’s Pilgrim Award for lifetime contribution to science fiction and fantasy scholarship.
You could do worse than read Peter Nicholls & John Clute’s 2018 appreciation of him in the Clute-Langford-Nicholls-Sleight Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.
Here is a portrait of him by Kelly Freas.