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Finding aid of the Rob Cole Papers
Coll2009-019  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
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 the 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 to the Advocate, Forum, and 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.
Background
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.
Extent
1 records storage box + 8 cartons + 2 half-cartons + 7 oversize boxes + 3 shoeboxes. 13.5 linear feet.
Restrictions
Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).
Availability
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.