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Friday, June 19, 2015

Building on what you love

"Take something you love, tell people about it, bring together people who share your love, and help make it better. Ultimately, you'll have more of whatever you love for yourself … and for the world."
 – Julius Schwartz

Born on this date in 1915, Schwartz was a longtime editor at DC Comics, where at various times he was primary editor for stories about the company's flagship superheroes, including Superman and Batman.   He also is credited with helping found the iconic comic book hero group known as The Justice League of America and with reviving a lagging interest in Batman during the 1960s. 

He single-handedly helped expand the reach and love for science fiction by organizing the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939 and then worked tirelessly to make it a “must attend” annual event.   Inducted into the comics industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1996, in 1997 he was named to both the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame and honored by the Science Fiction Writers Association for its lifetime contributions award.

In addition to his editing work, Schwartz was a much sought-after agent, representing a “who’s who” of science and comic writers, including Alfred Bester, Stanley Weinbaum, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury and H.P. Lovecraft.

A terrific biography/autobiography

Schwartz won numerous awards for his editing, including Best Editor and the Inkpot Award.  “Not too many people know who the editor is,” he commented upon being named for the latter award, “so this is a surprise.”  Schwartz died in 2004 and had inscribed on his tombstone a statement every writer covets:  “He met the deadline.”   

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