Paul Krassner

On this date in 1932, comedian and radical editor Paul Krassner was born in Brooklyn, New York. The co-founder of Yippies (Youth International Party), with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, he edited The Realist from 1958 to 1974. When People magazine dubbed the standup satirist the "father of the underground press," Krassner quipped that he would demand a paternity test. Both journalist and activist, Krassner, after interviewing a doctor who was performing abortions before their legalization, decided to run an underground abortion referral service. An FBI agent once wrote a letter to the editor saying, "To classify Krassner as a social rebel is far too cute. He's a nut, a raving, unconfined nut." Krassner's memoirs were consequently titled, Confessions of a Raving, Unconfined Nut. Krassner edited Lenny Bruce's biography, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People. Krassner's comic records include, "We Have Ways of Making You Laugh." After ABC's Harry Reasoner said, "Krassner not only attacks establishment values; he attacks indecency in general," Krassner called his one-man show "Attacking Indecency in General." He has written for Rolling Stone, Spin, Mother Jones, The Nation and Ron Reagan's late-night talkshow. Krassner has been inducted in the Counterculture Hall of Fame. His many books include The Winner of the Slow Bicycle Race: The Satiric Writings of Paul Krassner, Impolite Interviews, Murder at the Conspiracy Convention and Other American Absurdities. The San Francisco Examiner has said of him: "He has lived on the edge so long he gets his mail delivered there." Krassner repeatedly identifies himself as an atheist in his interviews and writings.

“I had become an atheist at the age of thirteen, when atomic bombs were dropped on Japan.”

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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