Paul Hardman (1923-1996) was a major gay activists and scholar in San Francisco. Born Feb. 19, 1923 in New York, Hardman moved to the Bay Area with his family when he was 5.
After serving in the Pacific, he received an honorable discharge from the Navy in 1945.
Paul received a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a doctorate in history from the ONE Institute in Los Angeles supervised by Dorr Legg. He turned his doctoral dissertation into a book (Hardman, Paul D. Homoaffectualism: Male bonding from Gilgamesh to the present. San Francisco: NF Division, GLB Publishers, 1993). In the postwar years, with his lifetime companion, interior designer Warren Kopp, Hardman operated an antique shop. He also served as a vice president at Crocker Bank.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Hardman published the California Voice, a San Francisco gay newspaper. Paul regularly contributed a well-researched column on gay historical figures to the newspaper.
In 1984, Paul founded the Alexander Hamilton Post, the country's first American Legion post with a gay and lesbian focus, which played an active role in the national battle over gays and lesbians in the military. For many years, Paul supported the Republican Party in San Francisco, a commitment he later abandoned.
In the summer of 1987, Hardman met William A. Percy in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Hardman subsequently introduced Percy to Arther Warner, Wayne Dynes and Warren Johansson, leading to Percy's collaboration with Dynes, Johansson and Stephen Donaldson on the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality.
Paul also served on the board of the Society for Individual Rights and, along with Dynes, on the board of the American Association for Personal Privacy founded by Warner.
Hardman was executive director of the Pride Center at 333 Grove Street and served as president of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Commission. Paul Hardman died January 5, 1996 at Fort Miley after complications from heart surgery. In addition to Kopp, Paul is survived by his brothers, Joseph Hardman of San Mateo and Barry Hardman of San Diego, and his sister, Jean Langan of Berlin, Md.
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