Nichols, John (Richard) 1938–2005

views updated

Nichols, John (Richard) 1938–2005

(Jack Nichols)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born March 16, 1938, in Washington, DC; died of complications from cancer, May 2, 2005, in Cocoa Beach, FL. Activist, editor, and author. One of the first vocal leaders of the gay rights movement, Nichols was a founder of the Mattachine Society, and an editor of gay publications, including Gay and the online Coming out in the 1950s at a time when homosexual activity was considered immoral, illegal, and deviant, Nichols bravely and unabashedly led the movement for homosexual rights from the 1960s until his death. He organized the first gay rights march on Washington, DC, in 1965, as well as annual marches on Independence Hall in Philadelphia in the late 1960s. He also challenged the American Psychiatric Association to stop categorizing homosexuality as a mental illness, which it finally did in 1973. Reestablishing the Mattachine Society in 1961 with Frank Kemeny, after the organization had earlier disbanded, Nichols campaigned for gay and lesbian rights for decades. After working as an editor for such magazines as Duke, Companion, Buccaneer, Stud, and Screw during the late 1960s, he founded the weekly Gay in 1969, running it with partner Lige Clark until 1973. From 1997 until 2004, he also managed the Nichols was the author of several books, including Men's Liberation: A New Definition of Masculinity (1975), The Gay Agenda: Talking Back to the Fundamentalists (1996), and The Tomcat Chronicles: Erotic Adventures of a Gay Liberation Pioneer (2004).



Chicago Tribune, May 4, 2005, section 3, p. 11.

Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2005, p. B12.

New York Times, May 4, 2005, p. A23.

Washington Post, May 5, 2005, p. B5.

About this article

Nichols, John (Richard) 1938–2005

Updated About content Print Article