Forrest Ackerman, ninety-something years old, is fading away in California, body failing but alert as a cricket and taking the greatest joy in messages of affection from unofficial "nieces and nephews" around the world. It isn't too much of an exaggeration to say Mr. Ackerman is one of the people who created and sustained genre fandom, with Famous Monsters of Filmdom one of the cornerstones. I was in the third or fourth grade when I first saw a copy at Steve Noel's house, with the ads for Mole Men masks in the back-- thirty years later, when I saw the cast of Mystery Science Theater wearing those masks, it was like a secret handshake.
Forrest Ackermman must look 'round at the San Diego Comicon with a wild surmise like Balboa on that peak in Darien. He's the Mr. Chips of science fiction, comics, horror and fantasy, and if anyone asks if he has any children, tell them "hundreds and hundreds".
Cards and letters are welcome at:
FORREST J ACKERMAN
4511 Russell Avenue
Los Angeles, CA