Bob Guccione (1930-2010)

Publisher Bob Guccione, 79, died October 20, 2010 in a Plano TX hospital of lung cancer.

Guccione is best known as the publisher of Penthouse, but he also helped found science and technology magazine Omni in 1978 with his wife and co-publisher Kathy Keeton (died 1997). He described Omni as “an original if not controversial mixture of science fact, fiction, fantasy and the paranormal.” Omni was a major market for science fiction until it closed in 1998 (after moving to online-only publication in 1996), publishing many award winners and paying some of the highest rates in the business. Ben Bova was the first fiction editor, followed by Robert Sheckley, but Ellen Datlow served longest, editing from 1981 until the magazine’s closure.

Robert Charles Joseph Edward Sabatini Guccione was born December 17, 1930 in Brooklyn NY. He founded porn magazine Penthouse in 1965, followed by numerous other magazines, and for a time he was one of the richest men in America. The circulation of his various magazines, once in the millions, began to plunge in the ’90s, and by 2006 he was bankrupt, though Penthouse is still being published.

He is survived by his fourth wife April Guccione, five children, and a grandson.

See the December 2010 Locus for a complete obituary.

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