For those that may not yet be aware of it, Julius Schwartz, a close friend of Ray, passed away last Sunday, February 8, at age 88. Mr. Schwartz was an agent (he was, I believe, Ray's first literary agent, acting as the agent for Ray's first professional sale of the story "Pendulum"...co-written with Henry Hasse... to SUPER SCIENCE STORIES in 1941), and was more recently a noted editor at DC Comics. He was also a fixture on the science fiction and comics convention scene. In fact, at the last few San Diego Comic Conventions, he and Ray participated in panel discussions together. Mr. Schwartz took Ray on as a client when Ray was still a relatively unknown and unpublished (save for fan publications)writer, and for that Ray's readers can all be very grateful. While I only met him on a couple of occasions, he was a kind and courteous gentlemen, and will be sorely missed. A link noting his passing is attached below:
Thanks for posting this. I just went and read through it. What a talented guy! How cool that he set up an agency specifically for sci-fi! What a client roster! You're right . . . we should be thankful that he helped Bradbury get started!
From the site Richard set up a link to:
"Schwartz was born on June 19, 1915, in the Bronx, NY. In 1932 he created science fiction's first fanzine, The Time Traveler, with fellow enthusiasts Mort Weisinger and Forrest J Ackerman. With Weisinger, he formed Solar Sales Service, the first literary agency specializing in science fiction, with clients including Ray Bradbury, Henry Kuttner, Alfred Bester, H.P. Lovecraft, Robert Bloch, and many others. In 1939 he helped organize the first World Science Fiction Convention."
RE: Richard's comment "...he was a kind and courteous gentleman." What a nice thing to have someone say about a person in reflecting back at the impressions left from exchanges shared, whether they be brief or over a long period of time. Riches, fame, accomplishments, and glory - though noteworthy and more befitting the Front Page - too oft push true greatness to the middle or back of the paper.
I immediatley thought of another passing on Sun., Feb 15, when a pioneer of oral and written history of baseball died here on the East Coast. Lawrence S. Ritter was a chronicler of the roots, traditions, and roughneck players of America's pastime dating back to the early 1900's through the 1970's. He had travelled over 75,000 miles with his son during the 60's making reel to reel audio tapes of some of the most famous and also most obscure (yet individually noteworthy) players.
His book "The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It" sold nearly 400,000 copies. Yet, he earned less than $35,000 from the sales because he shared most of the royalties with the men he interviewed for his work. Many of the early legends were less than comfortable financially in their later years, and he found it only fitting to assist them in this way (a far cry from the status of contracts and sports today!). His work is now available on CD with all the great interviews saved for posterity - if it is so interested.
Ironically, his title was taken from a phrase in Ecclesiasticus: "All these were honored in their generations, and were the glory of the times."
Mr. Ritter and Mr. Schwartz's characters/lives were cut from the same cloth, but each was set to a different (fine-tailored) suit - Sports & Sci-fi.
Both are now remembered as patriarchs of their specific crafts. They loved the characters, the words, and the content represented in their own genre. And, as Richard so aptly remarked, they capped it all off by living their lives as "kind and courteous gentlemen..."
[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 02-21-2004).]
Great guy, Julie Schwartz. He was a huge influence on the readers who grew up when I did. The late 50s into the mid-60s were his heyday at DC Comics, when he was guiding so many of the titles we kids were reading then. I loved the comics Julie Schwartz was editing although I barely knew the name. For he was facelessly creating a look and a kind of quality that fascinated so many readers
I got to meet him a couple of times. The last time I met him, (about 20 years ago), he told me how he agented some stories for H.P. Lovecraft and that HPL came to see him abuot the sale of one story (I want to say it was "At the Mountains of Madness", but I may be wrong). It was hard to get that story out of him, for I got the impression he did not hold HPL in any high regard, as Lovecraft was a notorious Jew-hater in that period and Julie was, of course, Jewish.
He was a great guy who loved comics and sf and the fans of those art forms. Alas.
I was just browsing through some items in my Bradbury collection, and came across a program from a "Tribute to Ray Bradbury", sponsored by the Los Angeles County Mental Health Association and held on May 26, 1981. At the back of the program was space where corporations and individuals could purchase space to wish Ray well. The following congratulatory note caught my eye and made me smile. It reads:
Jean & Julie Schwartz"
(For the significance of this note, see my first post above.)
As the above postings note, Julius Schwartz was a literary agent and long-time editor at DC Comics. And Ray Bradbury's first professional sale of the short-story "Pendulum" (co-authored with Henry Hasse) to SUPER SCIENCE STORIES was agented by Mr. Schwartz. The link below will take you to an interview of Mr. Schwartz by his long-time good friend Harlan Ellison. One of the topics discussed is that very first professional sale by Ray:
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