Doris Baumgardt

(19201970)

Doris Marie Clair Baumgardt joined the famous Futurians of New York in December, 1938. She was about 18 at the time. She and her friend, Rosalind Cohen, were the earliest female members of the club. She was described by Damon Knight in his tell-all book, The Futurians, as follows: "She was a tall, cool brunette who looked a little like the Dragon Lady in Terry and the Pirates." Frederik Pohl, in his The Way the Future Was (1979) described her as "strikingly beautiful, and strikingly intelligent, too, in a sulky, humorous, deprecatory way that matched well with most of the other people I admired."

In fanzines in the 1930s-1940s she signed herself "Leslie Perri"; her friends called her "Doƫ." She wrote prolifically for the Futurian fanzines, and was a founding member of the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA), created by fellow Futurian Donald Wollheim. She was one of only five Futurians Sam Moskowitz allowed inside the hall at the 1st Worldcon in New York in 1939. She also wrote SF stories (as Leslie Perri) in magazines edited by fellow Futurians. A few of these were later reprinted in anthologies, one of which (Womanthology, 2003) was edited by Forrest J Ackerman and consisted of stories by female writers.

As an artist, she contributed work to Astonishing Stories, edited by Pohl during 1940-1941.

She first married Pohl (1940), whom she had met through a high school friend. Pohl persuaded her to join the Futurians. After their divorce, she married painter/writer, Thomas Owens, "the handsomest man you ever saw in your life," according to her friend Rosalind Cohen Wylie. Doris left him to marry Richard Wilson, another Futurian, but they broke up in 1965. While married to Wilson, she worked as a reporter and journalist.

She had two children, one with Owens (Margot Owens), and one with Wilson (Richard David Wilson).

In the early 1940s she edited a magazine, Movie Love Stories, which (according to Wollheim), she practically wrote herself.

She died in 1970 of cancer.