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Siegel, Jerry

(1914-1996) US author and sf fan who in late 1929 or early 1930 founded and issued what may have been the first sf Fanzine or proto-Amateur Magazine (which see), Cosmic Stories; of the typewritten carbon copies circulated among friends in Cleveland, Ohio, none is known to have survived and its historical status is uncertain. In October 1932, with the illustrator Joe Shuster (1914-1992), he issued the unquestionable Fanzine Science Fiction, one of the earliest occasions on which the term was used in a title; this ran for five issues, publishing stories by Raymond A Palmer and others. In the same year Siegel published a story, Guests of the Earth (1932 chap) as by Hugh Langley, in which Venusian aliens seemingly land in America; it turns out to be a hoax, though the iron capsule they travel in is sufficiently advanced for the story to count as sf.

Also with Shuster he created the comic Superman, which first appeared in 1938, after they had spent years trying to sell the idea to publishers. Unfortunately, National Allied Comics (see DC Comics) bought their idea outright, a sweat-shop practice insisted upon by comics publishers until recently; Siegel's relations with the firm were tempestuous (though by the end of his career with DC he had scripted 788 stories for various comics), and the long saga of the team's attempts to gain acknowledgement and a small cut of DC's huge Superman-based income has become a famous salutary fable. [JC]

Jerome Siegel

born Cleveland, Ohio: 17 October 1914

died Los Angeles, California: 28 January 1996


further reading


Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 04:16 am on 17 January 2022.