William L. Hamling

(June 14, 1921 — June 29, 2017)

William Lawrence Hamling was a member of First Fandom who was born in Chicago and died in Palm Springs, California. He began reading sf in 1935 and published some in his high school newspaper which he edited. He became a fan in 1938 through the efforts of Mark Reinsberg and was a fan, writer, and editor during science fiction’s Golden Age.

He wanted to run Chicon I and worked with Jack Darrow to re-form the Chicago Science Fiction League in 1939 as well as the Chicago Science Fictioneers (and served as a director of both clubs), but, ultimately, the convention was run by the Illini Fantasy Fictioneers.

He published the fanzine Stardust, fandom's first printed fanzine with five issues in 1940. He was one of the Committee of Seven which ran Chicon II. He was elected to the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 2004. He was involved in a feud with Earl Singleton.

He got a job helping Ray Palmer in 1947 and he was managing editor of both Amazing and Fantastic Adventures during 1948-1950, and in 1951 became editor/publisher of Imagination, buying the title from Ray Palmer. A companion title, Imaginative Tales (late Space Travel), was later added, and he continued both until late 1958. He was involved in the Richard Shaver affair.

After he cancelled his SF magazines, he put his energies into his would-be Playboy clone Rogue and formed Greenleaf Classics which published erotic novels, and he had legal problems because of it.

He was the subject of an Original Member Spotlight article by Jon D. Swartz and John L. Coker III in the New Series #50, 4th Quarter, 2016 issue of Scientifiction: The First Fandom Report. An illustrated, memorial article by Swartz was published in Scientifiction (New Series #54, 4th Quarter 2017).

For an early short biography, see Who's Who in Fandom 1940 p7.

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