Biography and History

Ralph Gizburg was an American author, editor, publisher and photo-journalist. He was best known for publishing books and magazines on erotica and art, and for his conviction in 1963 for violating federal obscenity laws. In 1962, Ginzburg began publication of his first major work, Eros, which was a quarterly hardbound periodical containing articles and photo-essays on love and sex. Herb Lubalin was the art director and second on the masthead. Only four issues of Eros were published, largely because Ginzburg was indicted under federal obscenity laws for the fourth issue. From January 1964 to August, 1967, Ginzburg published a quarterly magazine named Fact, which was a humorous, scathingly satiric journal of comment on current society and politics. Fact had little erotic content; rather, it contained articles such as "1,189 Psychiatrists Say Barry Goldwater Is Unfit for the Presidency." From January 1968 through July 1971, Ginzburg published Avant Garde, which like Eros, was a handsome hardbound periodical. Ginzburg's age and federal conviction had calmed him down some by this time. Avant Garde could not be termed obscene, but it is filled with creative imagery often critical of American society and government, sexual themes, and crude language. It had a modest circulation but was extremely popular in certain circles, including New York's advertising and editorial art directors.

Leonard Lyons (born Leonard Sucher) was an American newspaper columnist. After he got the position as a Broadway columnist with the New York Post, the editor gave Sucher an alternative last name, "Lyons," for professional use, and thus he became "Leonard Lyons." Lyons' first column appeared May 20, 1934, under the banner of "The Lyons Den." He worked on "The Lyons Den" six days per week, producing as many columns per week, covering theater, movies, politics and art, a total of approximately 12,000 columns. The column became a New York institution, and was also syndicated nationally. Leonard Lyons was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Source: From the finding aid for C1338

  • Ralph Ginzburg Letters to Leonard Lyons. 1963-1970 (inclusive).

    Call Number: C1338

    Consists of thirty-four letters and note cards of American periodical publisher Ralph Ginzburg to his friend Leonard Lyons, syndicated columnist of the "The Lyons Den" with the New York Post. The letters discuss Ginzburg's trial concerning his publication of the "obscene" periodical Eros, as well as his later publications, Fact and Avant Garde magazines.