The collection consists of materials relating to
the life of Rob Cole, in particular his career as editor of the
Advocate (1970-1974), as unnamed
contributor to the
Forum of Southern California (1974), and
as founder and first editor of
NewsWest (1975). The documents, including
correspondence, draft articles, administrative, legal, and financial records,
shed light on Cole's role as the first professional newspaperman to run a gay
newspaper in Los Angeles. The collection also contains the newsroom copy of the
Advocate for 1967-1968, the two issues of
Forum of Southern California (1974), an
incomplete run of
NewsWest (1975-1977), and the single issue
of Out! which succeeded
NewsWest in 1977. The print material is
supplemented by a significant number of photographs published by or submitted
NewsWest. The collection also contains
materials documenting Cole's association with the Christopher Street West
Association, of which he was a founder. The records include board minutes,
souvenir programs, newsletter and public relations campaign materials,
photographs, videotapes, buttons, and t-shirts.
Frederick Robinson Cole was born in Dallas,Texas, on July 27, 1930. A
self-described "loner", he suppressed his homosexuality until the September
1969, when, while on vacation in Los Angeles, he was introduced to the newly
formed Metropolitan Community Church. The following year, after 15 years as an
editor at the
Dallas Times-Herald, he moved to Los Angeles
and joined the
Advocate as news editor, the first news
professional to work at the paper. During his tenure, Cole transformed the
paper from a local Los Angeles bar rag to a respectable newspaper with national
news coverage. Cole not only assigned and edited stories, but often wrote them,
covering serious issues such as conditions for gays in jails, psychiatric
abuse, and gays in religion.
1 records storage box + 8
cartons + 2 half-cartons + 7 oversize boxes + 3 shoeboxes.
13.5 linear feet.
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copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright.
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