Some people don’t make the news when they die. Among them this gentleman.
William Hamling was an American publisher of pulp and erotica, in a time when publishing books could still be dangerous (it has not been dangerous for the last fifty years of so, at least in the west). His financial backing for the case Redrup v. New York against Robert Redrup, a book seller who sold Hamling’s risqué paperbacks was instrumental in abolishing obscenity censorship in the United States.
Most amusingly Hamling published an illustrated edition of the President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography in 1970 [sample page, above].
Both its editor Earl Kemp and Hamling himself were sentenced to one year in prison for “conspiracy to mail obscene material,” but both served only the federal minimum of three months and one day. Incredible if you come to think of it (and strange also, considering that the Redrup case supposedly abolished obscenity censorship).
I would have thought a complete version of this grand example of détournement to have been available by now, disappointingly so, this is not the case.