Pierce, William L(uther) 1933-2002
PIERCE, William L(uther) 1933-2002
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born September 11, 1933, in Atlanta, GA; died of renal failure July 23, 2002, in Mill Point, WV. Activist, publisher, broadcaster, educator, physicist, and author. Pierce gained his greatest notoriety as the author of the novel The Turner Diaries, first published under the pseudonym Andrew MacDonald in 1978. The novel was denounced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as one of the most dangerous books in America, and Pierce was later vilified as the inspiration for the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building by Timothy McVeigh in 1995. Pierce had worked in the 1960s as a physics teacher at Oregon State University and as a scientist at a jet propulsion laboratory; his novel has been described as a textbook for making and detonating explosives. Pierce spread a radical message of white supremacy via his neo-Nazi organization, the National Alliance. The Turner Diaries was originally published as a serial in Pierce's newspaper, Attack, through which he promoted his vision of America as a white homeland devoid of African Americans, Jews, and other minorities. He also presented a weekly short-wave radio program, American Dissident Voices, owned a publishing company called National Vanguard Books, and operated Resistance Records, which some have called one of the world's biggest distributors of hate-based music. Pierce's supporters insisted that his message was not one of violence and hatred for minorities, but rather a statement of his passionate love for white American culture; others found little distinction between the two. For many years, the bulk of Pierce's writing was nonfiction, but the success of The Turner Diaries convinced him, he once told CA, that he could reach a wider audience through fiction. He published his second novel, Hunter, in 1990.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Chicago Tribune, July 24, 2002, section 2, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2002, obituary by Jeffrey Gettleman, p. B10.
New York Times, July 24, 2002, obituary by David Cay Johnston, p. A16.
Times (London, England), August 16, 2002. Washington Post, July 24, 2002, p. 35.