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About Jack Fritscher, PhD

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Black and white comic.  Rugged men with short hair milling about. They all wear white t-shirts under black leather jackets.  The men in the forground are looking back at the viewer.  In the middle ground, some men look back at the viewer but most of them are turned slightly to the left or right.

A Very Short Biography

Jack Fritscher is a writer and editor recognized as one of the leading voices in the gay leather community. He was Born in Jacksonville, IL on June 20, 1939 and raised Peoria, Illinois. After attending the Pontifical College Josephinum, for both high school and college, he completed his master's and doctoral program at Loyola University in Chicago. He moved to San Francisco in the early 1960s to pursue a career in writing.

In 1977, Fritscher was appointed as the editor-in-chief of Drummer magazine upon it's move from Los Angeles to San Francisco, a position he held until 1980. During his tenure, Fritscher brought a homomasculine emphasis to the magazine and helped to shape the identity and direction of the gay leather subculture. He also wrote a number of articles and interviews himself, showcasing his talent for combining insightful analysis with an engaging writing style.

In addition to his work at Drummer, Fritscher has authored numerous books and articles about gay culture, including his acclaimed memoir Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera, which chronicles his experiences as a friend and collaborator of the controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

For a longer and authorized biography, visit jackfritscher.com.

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Books by Jack Fritscher, PhD


  • Some Dance to Remember
  • The Geography of Women
  • What They Did to the Kid: Confessions of an Altar Boy (1965)
  • Leather Blues (1969)


  • Stonewall: Stories of Gay Liberation - 50th Anniversary 1969-2019
  • Jacked: The Best of Jack Fritscher
  • Stand By Your Man
  • Corporal In Charge of Taking Care of Captain O'Malley
  • Rainbow County and Other Stories
  • Titanic: Forbidden Stories Hollywood Forgot
  • Sweet Embraceable You


  • "Artist Chuck Arnett: His life/our times" in Thompson, Mark (editor). 1991. Leatherfolk -- Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice. 1st ed. Boston: Alyson Books
  • Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999, www.JackFritscher.com.
  • Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer. (2008) A selection of Jack Fritscher's writing in Drummer. www.JackFritscher.com.
  • The Life and Times of the Legendary Larry Townsend (Palm Drive Publishing: Sebastopal, 2021), www.JackFritscher.com.
  • Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera
  • Anton LaVey Speaks: The Canonical Interview
  • Popular Witchcraft: Straight from the Witch's Mouth
  • Love and Death in Tennessee Williams
  • When Malory Met Arthur
  • Television Today
  • Always Virginia: A Memoir and Diary of a Girl's Life

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