Finding aid to the Marvin Liebman Coming Out Conservative Collection, 1964, 1990-1993

Finding aid prepared by Tim Wilson
Support for the processing of the Marvin Liebman Coming Out Conservative Collection was provided by a grant from the Library Foundation of San Francisco.
James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA, 94102
(415) 557-4400
info@sfpl.org
1996


Title: Marvin Liebman Coming Out Conservative Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1964, 1990-1993
Date (bulk): 1990-1992
Collection Identifier: GLC 23
Creator: Liebman, Marvin
Physical Description: 20 folders + 1 videocassette tape (0.5 cubic feet)
Contributing Institution: James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 557-4567
info@sfpl.org
Abstract: The collection contains correspondence, clippings, drafts of Liebman's coming-out letter and of his book Coming Out Conservative, and a videotaped interview. Drafts include comments by Betty Berzon, William F. Buckley, Jr., Carol Buckley, and Priscilla Buckley.
Physical Location: The collection is stored onsite.
Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Marvin Liebman transferred copyright to San Francisco Public Library in 1993. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Marvin Liebman Coming Out Conservative Collection (GLC 23), Gay and Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library.

Provenance

The Coming Out Conservative Collection was donated by Marvin Liebman in February, 1993.

Related materials

Researchers are encouraged to see also the Marvin Liebman Papers (1953-1980) at the Hoover Institution Archives at Stanford University, and the Marvin Liebman Papers (1990-1996) at New York Public Library.

Biographical note

Marvin Liebman, born in New York City on 21 July 1923, was a public relations consultant and conservative lobbyist. His firm Marvin Liebman Associates, Inc. (1957-1968) provided organizational, fundraising and public relations expertise to the anti-communist and conservative movements in the U.S. and abroad. Its extensive list of clients includes: the Committee of One Million, Aid Refugee Chinese Intellectuals, the American Emergency Committee for Tibetan Refugees, the American-Asian Educational Exchange, the American African Affairs Association, and the American Committee for Aid to Katanga Freedom Fighters.
From 1969 to 1975, Liebman was Managing Director of Sedgemoor Productions in London. During this period, he produced or co-produced nine West-End productions, an equal number of touring or out-of-town productions, two television films, and three feature films.
In 1975, Liebman returned to the U.S. to organize Marvin Liebman Inc., a firm with the same mission as his earlier Marvin Liebman Associates. Among the notable clients were: the Friends of Free China, the Friends of Jim Buckley, the Committee of Single Taxpayers, the American-Chilean Council, the Ad Hoc Citizens Legal Defense Fund for the FBI, Firing Line, and Covenant House.
With the Reagan victory in 1981, Liebman went to Washington, D.C. He was Consultant to the Office of Policy and Planning for Action from June through October 1981, Consultant to the Office of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Education from October 1981 to February 1982, and Director of the Office of Public Affairs and Director of Special Projects for the National Endowment of the Arts from February 1982 to July 1987. He served as Director of Special Projects and Acting Director for the Office of Public Affairs at the National Endowment for the Arts.
In July 1990, Liebman came out in a letter published in The National Review and in an interview published in The Advocate. His autobiography, Coming Out Conservative was published in 1992. He died on March 31, 1997.

Scope and Contents

The Coming Out Conservative Collection (1964, 1990-1993) contains correspondence, newspaper and magazine clippings, typescript drafts relating to Marvin Liebman's coming out letter to the National Review in 1990, and his book Coming Out Conservative published in 1992. The collection also contains a videotaped interview of Liebman.

Arrangement note

The collection is arranged into four series: Series 1. Correspondence; Series 2. Works by Liebman; Series 3. Clippings and Press Coverage; and Series 4. Audiovisual Materials.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Berzon, Betty
Buckley, William F., (William Frank), 1925-2008
Liebman, Marvin -- Archives
Coming out (Sexual orientation)--United States.
Conservatism--United States--History--20th century.
Gay men--United States--Biography
Homosexuality--United States.
Lobbyists--United States--Biography.
Political consultants--United States--Biography
Public relations consultants--United States--Biography.

 

Series 1 Correspondence, 1990-1992

Physical Description: 3.0 folders
Folder 1

Series 1a To/from Marvin Liebman, 1990-1992

Scope and Contents

Contains letters to Liebman regarding his coming out letter in 1990 and his book in 1992. Most of the letters are supportive. Carol Buckley and Priscilla Buckley send editorial comments on his 1991 draft of Coming Out Conservative. Betty Berzon's letter of June 13, 1991 contains her comments on the draft of his book and includes clippings gathered by GLAAD. Liebman's responses to letters from Harry Jaffa and Dr. George Mohun to The National Review appear in this series. Glen Abel's letter includes a paper on gay inequality.

Arrangement note

This folder is arranged alphabetically by last name, with anonymous letters filed in the front.
 

Series 1b To/from The National Review, 1990-1992

Physical Description: 2.0 folders

Scope and Contents

Contains letters directed to The National Review concerning Liebman's coming out letter and William F. Buckley, Jr.'s response. The prevailing view is that it was inappropriate for The National Review to publish the letter, and that Liebman is a "Sodomite," etc. Some letters applaud Liebman's courage. Of interest are the letters from Harry Jaffa and Dr. George Mohun regarding Liebman and his homosexuality. Liebman's responses are filed in Series I a. Correspondence between Liebman and William F. Buckley, Jr. was separated from the general correspondence by placing it in its own folder. It includes drafts of Liebman's corning out letter and Buckley's comments. This file also includes Buckley's comments on a draft version of Coming Out Conservative in 1991, and his review of the published volume in 1992.

Arrangement note

This folder is arranged alphabetically by last name, with anonymous letters filed in the front. The letters to William F. Buckley, Jr. are separated out into their own folder.
Folder 2

Anonymous, B-W, 1990

Folder 3

Buckley, W[illiam] F., Jr., 1990-1992

 

Series 2 Works by Liebman, 1990-1992

Physical Description: 15.0 folders

Scope and Contents

Contains typescript drafts of books and statements by Liebman. Most of these are preliminary drafts of the book which was ultimately titled Coming Out Conservative. In chronological order, these are: “Autobiography” (June 1990), “History...Excerpts from Autobiography Covering Historical Background” (October 1990), Coming Out Right (November 1991), Coming Out Conservative (March 1992), and Coming Out Conservative (bound, [1992]). A copy of Liebman's 1992 statement for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force press conference appears in this series as well.

Arrangement note

Folders arranged alphabetically by title.
Folders 4-7

"Autobiography," 13 June 1990

General note

See also Ser.2 "History…Excerpts from Autobiography Covering Historical Background."
Folders 8-9

Coming Out Conservative, March 1992

General note

Uncorrected manuscript.
Folder 10

Coming Out Conservative, [1992]

General note

Uncorrected manuscript. Bound.
Folders 11-15

"Coming Out Right," 3 November 1991

General note

Also titled "Everywhere but Home."
Folders 16-17

"History…excerpts from Autobiography Covering Historical Background," 15 Oct. 1990

General note

See also Ser.2, "Autobiography."
Folder 18

"Statement...for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Press Conference," 17 Aug. 1992

 

Series 3 Clippings and Press Coverage, Bulk, 1990-1992 1964, 1990-1992

Physical Description: 2.0 folders

Scope and Contents

Contains photocopies of newspaper and magazine clippings. The primary subjects of these items are Liebman's letter to the National Review in 1990 and the publication of his book Coming Out Conservative in 1992. Gay rights, conservative politics, and anti-gay propaganda are among the other subjects touched upon in the articles. Also included here is a photocopy of "Marvin in Manialand" written by John Gregory Dunne in 1964.

Arrangement note

Arranged chronologically.
Folder 19

1964, 1990

Folder 20

1991-1992

 

Series 4 Audiovisual materials, 1993

Physical Description: 1.0 videotape
 

Interview, 1993 March 11

Physical Description: 1.0 videotape

General note

TRT 1:38:20. VHS. Labeled "Spring 1993."