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1909 – 1993; born in Woodsfield, Ohio
At 18, Samuel Steward moved from Woodsfield to Columbus, Ohio where he completed his bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in seven years. For the next twenty years worked in academe. After teaching English in Montana, Washington State-Pullman, and in Chicago at Loyola (1936-46) and DePaul (1948-54) Universities, he began publishing gay male erotica under the pseudonym Phil Andros (from the Greek philos – to love, and Andros – man) beginning in the 1960s. He remarked, in Contemporary Authors, “I consider erotica to be the purest form of entertainment, making the most direct connection between reader and writer and material.” He concurrently focused his creative and erotic energies as the tattoo artist Phil Sparrow, inking in Chicago and Oakland until 1970.
According to glbtq.com, while his “graphic and witty accounts in the first person of a fictional hustler” were “originally published in the late 1960s and early 1970s, they were revised a decade later to considerable critical and commercial success.” Steward’s stories recounted “the multi-faceted mysteries and fantasies of a sensual experience that contradicted the mass-market concepts of the unhappy, guilt-ridden, tragicomic homosexual.” He also published short stories and books such as Pan and the Fire-Bird (1930) under his given name, a memoir, Chapters from an Autobiography (1981), and Bad Boys and Tough Tattoos: A Social History of the Tattoo with Gangs, Sailors, and Street-Corner Punks, 1950-1965 (1990), and his final book, A Pair of Roses (1993) published on the year of his death at 84 of a chronic pulmonary disease.
Steward spent the final years of his life in the East Bay and donated an extraordinary collection of Stein/Toklas memorabilia to The Bancroft Library at the University of California-Berkeley. In the course of his life he became acquainted with Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, Lord Alfred Douglas, André Gide, Thomas Mann, Thornton Wilder and Alfred Kinsey.
Keehnen, Owen. “A Very Magical Life: Talking with Samuel Steward.” glbtq: The Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture, 1993, http://www.glbtq.com, 19 October 2009.
Rivendell, Peter. Samuel M. Steward aka Phil Andros.” “Samuel M. Steward 1909 – 1993.” Gay for Today, 23 July 2008, http://gayfortoday.blogspot.com, 19 October 2009.
Gay Bears: The Hidden History of the Berkeley Campus. http://sunsite.berkeley.edu, 12 September 2009.
“Samuel Steward (1909 – 1993).” gltbq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture, 12 July 2007 http://www.glbtq.com, 12 September 2009.
Young, Ian. “The Paperback Explosion: How Gay Paperbacks Changed America.” Ian Young Books, http://www.ianyoungbooks.com, 19 October 2009.