Jack Gillespie was originally brought into fandom by Richard Wilson. In 1937, Gillespie joined with James V. Taurisi and Robert G. Thompson to announce a planned fanzine, Cosmic Tales, which ran for four issues and was roundly criticized. Gillespie tried numerous other fanzines, but never quite managed to get into the mainstream of fandom. Gillespie and Wilson perpetrated a hoax on Sam Moskowitz one morning by ringing his doorbell and informing him of the death of Will Sykora, an action which caused Moskowitz to break off relations with the two men.
A charter member of the Futurians, Gillespie hosted the third Futurians meeting at his parents' home near Fort Tryon Park. He was one of the six Futurians to whom the Exclusion Act was applied. Along with Fred Pohl, he was formally censured by the Futurians in late 1941 for describing their fanzine, Futurian Review, as the club's official organ.
When the Futurians began to split between Donald A. Wollheim and Frederik Pohl, Gillespie fell into Pohl’s camp. During World War II, Gillespie joined the merchant marine and remained in it until the early 1950s, eventually setting up in Pennsylvania when he married his wife, Lois.
He was a Founding Member of The National Fantasy Fan Federation (N3F) in 1941, and was the subject of an N3F Founding Member article by Jon D. Swartz in the March, 2017 issue (Volume 76, Number 3) of The National Fantasy Fan.
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