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Volume 1699
May 17, 1918 - September 19, 2006
DARRELL C. RICHARDSON was a minister, writer, and archaeologist. He was widely known in science fiction circles for his collection in this genre. It is considered to be one of the world's largest and most comprehensive. Included is one of the top holdings of Tarzan and other works  and materials related to Edgar Rice Burroughs. All the major science fiction and fantasy writers are represented, mostly in first editions. The collection contains over 30,000 books, 20,000 pulp magazines and hundreds of related items, in over twenty languages.

Almost every major artist in the history of science fiction is represented in the author's collection of original art. One of his special interests over the years was the artist J. Allen St. John.

Though born in Kansas, he lived most of his early life in Missouri. He studied journalism and later archaeology, but then entered the seminary and prepared for the ministry. He spent over twenty years as a pastor in Kentucky and also served as an army chaplain during the Korean War. He retired as Editor of the Brotherhood Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention in Memphis, Tennessee where he lived during all later years. 

Since college days at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. (where he had athletic scholarships for football, basketball and track) he worked as a writer. He wrote and edited books, magazine stories, articles, and newspaper columns. His travels and expeditions, archaeological digs, research and adventures carried him into over forty countries of the globe.

"The Old Tiger" died in Memphis, Tennessee on September 19, 2006.

The Old Tiger Sleeps

An Obituary by James Dowd
Photo Courtesy of Dennis McHaney 
Dr. Darrell Coleman Richardson inhabited a world delightfully similar to the ones depicted in the pulp fiction novels he loved: bold, brilliant and bursting with adventure.

Dr. Richardson's life included chapters as college athlete, Army chaplain, Baptist preacher, author, editor and Boy Scout leader. Along the way he amassed an extensive Edgar Rice Burroughs collection and became pals with onscreen Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller. And while stationed in West Germany, Dr. Richardson met Elvis Presley when the young soldier got out of a jeep and stepped on the chaplain's foot.

"He was bigger than life," said longtime friend Greg Bridges. "Some people have too many irons in the fire because they don't know what to do with them. Not Dr. Richardson. He used every one he had." 

Dr. Richardson died Tuesday after a long illness. He was 88. Born in Baxter Springs, Kan., Dr. Richardson grew up in Missouri. He earned a football scholarship to Furman University, where he lettered in that sport as an offensive and defensive lineman, as well as basketball and track.

"Dad loved the outdoors, he loved the environment and he loved being active," said son and collaborator Don Richardson of Memphis.  "He was just amazingly active, physically and mentally." 

Dr. Richardson was an ordained minister and pastored churches in Kentucky and served as director of Camp Ridgecrest in North Carolina. He moved to Memphis in the late '60s to become editor of the Brotherhood Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

Dr. Richardson co-founded the Memphis Science Fiction & Fantasy Association; that organization's "Darrell Awards" are presented annually to published regional writers of fantasy, horror and science fiction.

A couple of years ago he established Old Tiger Press with friend Dennis McHaney, specializing in science fiction-related volumes. "He was a prolific writer and quite a character," McHaney said. "He was interested in so many things and knowledgeable about so much that it's almost impossible to describe him, but he'll be greatly missed." 

A passion for collecting led Dr. Richardson to search the globe for rare books and items of Burroughs and other pulp fiction writers, as well as the works of fantasy artists such as J. Allen St. John. He eventually acquired more than 80,000 items and continued to research and write throughout his life.

"He never retired, never even considered it," Don Richardson said. "Slowing down, managing his energy and reducing office hours, yes. But retiring? No."

Dr. Richardson, the widower of Sarah Sanders Richardson, leaves another son, Darrell Coleman Richardson Jr.  of Berwyn Heights, Md., and a granddaughter.

- James Dowd

Submitted by Ray Cuthbert
Darrell C. Richardson

Submitted by Mike Resnick
Rev. Darrell C. Richardson
Photo taken by Margaret Keifer at the 1951 Midwestcon.
Just found out that an old friend died on Tuesday (September 19, 2006) -- the Reverand Darrell C. Richardson, one of the first three or four fans Carol and I met when we entered fandom 44 years ago.

Darrell was a Baptist preacher, and a sincere one. He contracted cancer a quarter of a century ago. The doctors administered chemo, explained that it would cause his hair to fall out, and gave him 5 weeks to live. He had a pow-wow with Jesus that night, they decided he still had preaching to do, and the next morning he started growing a beard. He was out of the hospital and pronounced miraculously cured after a month (he knew why, even if medical science didn't), and went on to spread the Word on 4 continents and maybe 55 countries, including just about every Third World hellhole there was.

The last time I saw him was at the 1998 Baltimore worldcon, where he proudly told me that though he was in his 70s, he was exactly 2 pounds heaviier his playing weight when he was a starting guard for Georgia 50 years earlier.

Darrell had one of the great pulp and pulp art collections. When he lived in the Cincinnati area (he was gone before I got here), he had built an all-stone outbuilding to house his collection so that it could never burn down. He wrote a fine book on the work of J. Allen St. John, was a regular contributor to Bob Tucker's SF NEWSLETTER about 55 years ago, co-published a small specialty press, and was a decent man and a good friend.

~ Mike Resnick

Photo submitted by Bob Zeuschner

Photo submitted by Bob Zeuschner
Living on the west coast, names like Darrell Richardson, Bob Hyde and Vern Coriell were living legends, were the Great Ones from the previous generations. I knew of them from the many ERB fanzines that I subscribed to beginning in the 1950s, and to which they contributed. They knew ERB and Jack and Hully, they actually knew J. Allen St. John and owned St. John originals, and they had everything ERB ever wrote.I got to meet Vern and Rita at the 1975 Dum-Dum, but I don't recall meeting the others then. I must have photos somewhere, but don't know where to look.

I believe I met Darrell and Bob Hyde the first time at the 1990 Dum-Dum. They were so gracious. I was so honored that they would even deign to speak with me. It is true that all things must pass, but it is always unexpected and it saddens me terribly to lose such giants.

There is another succeeding generation of giants, including Bob Barrett, George McWhorter, Bill Ross, Mike Conran, Brad Vinson, and others. I really want each of them to know how important they are, and how much gratitude I feel towards them. I didn't get to tell that to Darrell, but I wish I had.

~ Bob Zeuschner
Yet another sad milestone for Burroughsians.  I was privileged to meet Darrell Richardson through Vern Coriell, almost certainly at the early '80s Chicon.  It was the first time I met Vern, Bill Ross (if I recall correctly), and any number of the Burroughsian family whose friendships have since expanded to many wonderful friends, even though we meet in person no more than once a year.

I have missed Darrell over the past several years, although Cole has gone far in keeping him with us in spirit. My fondest memory of Darrell is meeting him at his table in Chicon's huckster room.  Of course, he was selling ERB memorabilia.  I bought an "oil painting" of Boris Vallejo's young Tarzan encountering La for the first time.  It is marvelous -- "Boris" was able to capture the spirit of Tarzan at his most ferocious and his most serene. Obviously, I remember Darrell whenever I glance at the picture. But, best of all, he wanted to be certain I was not misled: the picture is a "mock up," if you will, hardly an original.  I was impressed with Darrell's honesty, not to mention his willingness to engage a virtual stranger in conversation. 

I recall a fairly recent Dum-Dum when a treasure box of his goodies sold at less than he had hoped at our auction.  On a whim, to show my appreciation of him, I bid on the little cardboard box itself.  It ultimately sold for far more than I could then afford.  I hope Darrell took the gesture in the spirit I intended.  As I recall, he autographed the box for the successful bidder.

Over the years since then I have come to realize what a fine gentleman Darrell was -- I was privileged to have known him.  I also thank Cole for his contributions to our ongoing friendship among the Burroughs family of friends.  (A mixed metaphor, I confess, but isn't that what we are in spirit?) 

~ Dorothy "Usha" Howell

From the Ray LeBeau Collection
Ray LeBeau ~ Darrell Richardson ~ Pete Ogden

I only met Darrell once, when I was a Guest at Mid-South Con in Memphis a couple of years ago. Knowing our mutual interest in ERB, my editor, John Jackson Miller of (then) Krause Publications, made sure to introduce us. Darrell graciously signed everything I bought from him.

He will be missed, but his legacy will live on in print. He did some great books about ERB and J. Allen St. John. I'm glad that I did have the chance to meet him in person. I'm sure that Dennis McHaney will carry on his legacy. If you haven't already, check out Dennis' Robert E. Howard: World's Greatest Pulpster, available now. I gave it a review in the current Comic Buyer's Guide.

~ Michael Tierney

Submitted by Ray Cuthbert
Photo from the final issue of FFF
A look back at some of Darrell's 
major achievements in publishing

Cover art by William F. Nolan
Cover art by William F. NolanVOL. 1 NO. 1 JUNE 1948- contributors included William F. Nolan (his first published work - he later wrote LOGAN'S RUN and many other books) and Chester D. Cuthbert (my father), and others
VOL. 1 NO. 2 DEC. 1948 - contributors included William F. Nolan, Chester D. Cuthbert and others
VOL. 1 NO. 3 JAN. 1950 - My father was singled out by darrell for his work on the zine who cut most of the stencils for the 3rd issue. Contributors included William F. Nolan, Chester D. Cuthbert and others
VOL. 2 NO. 1 DEC. 1952 - Contributors included L. Ron Hubbard, Samuel Peeples, William F. Nolan and others

THE FABULOUS FAUST FANZINE dealt with the life and works of Frederick Faust who wrote under such pseudonyms as Max Brand, George Owen Baxter, Evan Evans, George Challis, John Frederick, David Manning , Peter Henry Moreland and some dozen others. It was a 64-page illustrated magazine with fiction, articles, verse and many special features.

The FFF led to Darrell's book, Max Brand: The Man and His Work, which is the earliest book about the famous western (and Dr. Kildaire) writer (Frederick Faust - killed in WWII). The book and its author were given national attention by Time Magazine and other publications.  Published by Fantasy Publishing Co., Inc. 1952. 

In 1996 Darrell was the consulting editor for the book The Max Brand Companion, John Tuska & Vicki Piekarski, Eds.  Contributors once again included William F. Nolan, Chester D. Cuthbert and others.

Darrell was one of the founders of FAX Books -- publishers of Fantasy novels. He also re-discovered and rescued from oblivion, BEN, KING OF BEASTS? (aka BEWARE! by ERB). I did a comparative review (upon Darrell's request) of his St. John Book with the one put out by Vanguard Press -- both printed last year that I ran in the ERBapa. A copy of this review is reprinted below.

My Dad has voluminous correspondence with Darrell dating back to the '40s when they worked together right up to much more recent days.

~ Ray Cuthbert

Ray's Comparative Review of 
The Life and Work of J. Allen St. John by Darrell C. Richardson & 
Grandmaster of Adventure—The Drawings of J. Allen St. John by J. David Spurlock
appears in ERBzine 1747

Darrell, Vic, Huck, and Cole - with  Sandy just off-camera
.Remembering "The Old Tiger"
Dr. Darrell C. Richardson

     This has been a year of serious losses for Burroughs fandom -- first Bob Hyde, then Bob Cook, and now Darrell, all irreplaceable.  Though our hearts go out especially to Cole, Sandy (Don), Kathy and Amanda in their loss, they should know that their grief is shared by all the extended family that the Burroughs Bibliophiles, Inc., has become.

     Over the past decade "The Old Tiger" has shared with us many of the unique items from his extensive collection of Burroughs materials dating back to the 1920s through his contributions to ERB-APA and the NATIONAL PANTHANS JOURNAL, and we can only hope that his sons Coleman and Sandy (loyal Panthans that they both are, though the latter has spent most of his time in Memphis in recent years) will continue the tradition as they sort through their father's collection.

     Of course Darrell, being larger than life in so many ways, was more than just a Burroughs scholar.  His contributions to the various fandoms of Robert E. Howard, Zane Grey, and the history of science fiction and westerns in general are equally impressive.  And of course his ministry and his contribution to scouting will not soon be forgotten by those who benefitted from these endeavors.

     And he was a raconteur.  I’m sure none of us will ever forget his tales of being assaulted in Damascus by 10,000 bloodthirsty Arabs foaming at the mouth, or of smacking a bear on the nose because as a scoutmaster he was afraid to tell any of the mothers of his scouts that their sons had been eaten.

     My own personal favorite story concerns his son Coleman, who as a boy had the original J. Allen St. John painting for the dust jacket of At the Earth's Core hanging in his room.  (Cole remembers it a bit differently.)  Apparently Cole went through a period of having nightmares, and the pediatrician suggested changing the picture in the boy’s room.  "So," concluded Darrell, "I changed pediatricians."

     Vic and I first met Darrell at the 1967 Worldcon in New York, and reconnected regularly thereafter.  The accompanying photo of Darrell, Vic, myself, and Cole was taken during the ECOF 1999 banquet in Gaithersburg, Md. -- if I'm not mistaken, the last one he attended.

     Rest in peace, Old Tiger, and know "up there" that your efforts on behalf of Burroughs, Howard, and others will be carried on.

~ J. G. Huckenpöhler / "Archimedes Q. Porter"

Read the Other Chapters in the
ERBzine 0678
ERBzine 0679
Landmark Events I
ERBzine 0680
Landmark Events II
ERBzine 0681
Feature Articles
ERBzine 0682
ST. JOHN Biblio
ERBzine 0683
ST. JOHN Line Art Collection
ERBzine 1137
Burroughs/Lovecraft Connection
Richardson Publications
Showcasing St. John Art
ERBzine 1523
Memorial Site
Mirrored at ERBzine 1699
The Centaur: Steed of the Gods from Fantastic Adventures, May 1943.Back Cover St. John Art Collage


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