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The Journalist of Castro StreetThe Life of Randy Shilts$
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Andrew E. Stoner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042485

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042485.001.0001

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The Life and Times

The Life and Times

(p.72) Chapter 5 The Life and Times
The Journalist of Castro Street

Andrew E. Stoner

University of Illinois Press

Shilts struggles to overcome obstacles from being an openly gay reporter as his job at KQED officially comes to an end. Jobless again with no prospects in view, Shilts falls into a hole of drinking and marijuana use. Going back to freelance writing jobs to survive, Shilts’s coverage of the assassination of Milk and Moscone draws the attention of New York City editors who ask him to write up a proposal for a biography of Milk. Shilts undertakes well-researched and positively reviewed book on Milk’s life. Shilts’s work on the Milk bio also takes in important aspects of the growing gay community in San Francisco. Shilts embraces a “new journalism” writing style he admires from novelist James Michener.

Keywords:   gay journalist, Harvey Milk, political assassination, media coverage of Rev. Jim Jones, People’s Temple, Michael Denneny, Charles L. Ortleb, Christopher Street magazine, California magazine, New West magazine, St. Martin’s Press, Mayor of Castro Street, biography writing, Milk’s hope speech, gay mecca, Stonewall riots, James Michener, Hawaii, gay political activism, Dan White, White Night Riots, San Francisco Police Department, Elephant Walk Bar, 18th and Castro, gay expert

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