Donald Wollheim

Dynamic editor that encouraged authors to dream big.

October 1, 1914 – November 2, 1990

For more than 50 years, Donald Wollheim was one of the most important editorial influences on science fiction and fantasy literature.

A dynamic member of the genre's early fandom in the 1930s, by the 1940s Wollheim had edited one of the earliest science fiction anthologies, The Pocket Book of Science Fiction, as well as several magazines, and had emerged as a science fiction writer himself. In the 1940s and 1950s he brought a number of important authors to wider readership, including C.S. Lewis and H.P. Lovecraft.

As an editor with Ace Books for 20 years, Wollheim oversaw one of the most dynamic collections of science fiction and fantasy authors in publishing, and won a 1964 Hugo Award for his work. In 1972 Wollheim founded DAW Books. Strongly encouraging authors who were comfortable with science fantasy, he allowed them considerable latitude in both story length and subject matter. He remained active until his passing, annually compiling the World's Best Science Fiction anthology, as he had done since 1965.

2002 Inductees