Wilson, Robert Anton 1932-2007

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Wilson, Robert Anton 1932-2007


See index for CA sketch: Born January 18, 1932, in New York, NY; died January 11, 2007, in Capitola, CA. Author. Wilson was best known as the author, with the late Robert J. Shea, of the Illuminatus! trilogy. An interesting personality, he explored all types of subjects and occupations during his lifetime. After attending the Brooklyn Polytechnical College and New York University in the 1950s, he earned a doctorate in psychology at Paidea University in 1979. His career included six years as an engineering aide for Ebasco Services in New York City in the 1950s and three years as an assistant sales manager for Antioch Bookplate in Ohio during the early 1960s. He was working as an associate editor for Playboy magazine when he and Shea wrote Illuminatus! The three books of the trilogy, all released in 1975, include The Eye of the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, and Leviathan. Although never best sellers, the books about a secret society controlling world politics achieved cult status and have been in print since their original publication. Wilson later followed it up with the solo works Masks of the Illuminati (1981), The Earth Will Shake (1982), The Widow's Son (1985), Nature's God (1991), and the related nonfiction titles The Illuminati Papers (1977; 2nd edition, 1991) and Right Where You Are Sitting Now: Further Tales of the Illuminati (1977; 2nd edition, 1992). Interested in conspiracy theories, the paranormal, and the edges of science, Wilson was director of the Institute for the Study of the Human Future in Berkeley, California, from 1979 to 1982. His willingness to experiment with drugs and his unique theories on such subjects as "quantum psychology," made Wilson a popular writer among science fiction fans, New Agers, and other fans of the otherworldly and paranormal. Also popular for his three-volume autobiography, Cosmic Trigger (1971, 1991, 1995), Wilson claimed to have been visited by extraterrestrials and talked freely about his drug experimentation. Among his other books are the nonfiction works Sex and Drugs: A Journey beyond Limits (1973; 2nd edition, 1991), The New Inquisition: Irrational Rationalism and the Citadel of Science (1986; revised edition, 1991), and Chaos & Beyond: The Best of Trajectories (1994). His last publication was the humorously titled fiction work Natural Law; or, Don't Put a Rubber on Your Willy (1999).



Wilson, Robert Anton, Cosmic Trigger, And/Or Press (Berkeley, CA), Volume 1: The Final Secret of the Illuminati, 1977, Volume 2: Down to Earth, 1991, Volume 3: My Life after Death, 1995.


New York Times, January 13, 2007, p. A13.

Times (London, England), March 12, 2007, p. 55.