Samuel Steward (1909- 1993) was a colorful American professor of English; fiction writer and memoirist; tattoo artist; and pornographer.
While teaching at Loyola University in Chicago, he made friends in writing with Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, visiting them several times in France. He also met Lord Alfred Douglas, Thomas Mann, and André Gide. For a number of years he conducted an episodic affair with Thornton Wilder. His 1981 memoir “Chapters from an Autobiography” detailed some of these relationships. He also edited the book “Dear Sammy: Letters from Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas” (1977), and wrote two "Gertrude Stein-Alice B. Toklas Mysteries" featuring the famous lesbian women as detectives
Fascinated by the masculine subculture he frequented, he began tattooing in Chicago under the name Phil Sparrow. Later he continued this work in Oakland, California,
Meeting Alfred Kinsey in 1949, Steward provided the noted sex researcher with much useful information about his experiences. In the 1960s Steward began writing gay erotica under the name Phil Andros, recounting the picturesque adventures of a Greek-American hustler of that name.
Steward’s life has been faithfully captured in a superb biography by Justin Spring: “Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade (New York: Ferrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010).
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