David A. Kyle (1919-2016)

Author, illustrator, and fan David A. Kyle, 97, died September 18, 2016 of complications from an endoscopy. Kyle was a member of First Fandom, active in SF since 1933, and a founding member of the Futurians. He chaired NYCon II, the 14th Worldcon in 1956, and was fan guest of honor ConStellation, the 41st Worldcon, in 1983. Kyle published countless essays and letters in fanzines, and illustrated covers and interiors for many books. He received the Big Heart Award in 1973, and was inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 1988.

Kyle co-founded Gnome Press with Martin Greenberg in 1948, one of the premier small presses of the era, and designed many of the dustjackets for their publications. The press closed in 1962. He wrote the text for two extensively illustrated books on SF: BSFA Award winner A Pictorial History of Science Fiction (1976) and The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Ideas and Dreams (1977). He was an occasional fiction writer, with first story “Golden Nemesis” appearing in Stirring Science Stories (1941); he also illustrated the piece. He wrote three books set in his friend E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Lensman series: The Dragon Lensman (1980), Lensman from Rigel (1982), and Z-Lensman (1983).

David Ackerman Kyle was born February 14, 1919 in Monticello NY. He married fellow fan Ruth Evelyn Landis in 1957 (they met at a convention), and they went to the Worldcon in England for their honeymoon on a specially chartered flight with friends and family. She predeceased him in 2011. Kyle is survived by a son, a daughter, and grandchildren.