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Lou Tabakow

Lou Tabakow was born on January 14, 1915. He owned a dry cleaner in Cincinnati when Dale Tarr introduced him to science fiction fandom in the 1930s. When Tarr, Charles Tanner, and Ross Rocklynne founded the Cincinnati Fantasy Group (CFG) in 1935, Tabakow became the organization’s founding Secretary/Treasurer. Within a few years, Tabakow was functioning as the group’s President, a position he retained until his death, when he was succeeded by Bill Cavin.

Through his position within CFG, Tabakow helped found several long-running conventions, including Midwestcon, in 1949. Midwestcon is widely considered to have been the first relaxacon held. It has long drawn from the greater Midwest and over the years has been attended by pros as well as fans, despite its lack of programming.

At Midwestcon 9, in 1959, Tabakow became one of the founding members of First Fandom. Other founders included C.L. Barrett, Don Ford, Lynn Hickman, and Bob Madle. The purpose of First Fandom at the time was a fellowship of fans who were active prior to December 31, 1937. Although only a few fans who were originally eligible for First Fandom are still alive, the club still exists with the purpose of remembering those who established fandom and reveling in the history of early fandom.

In the early 1960s, Tabakow helped found a second relaxacon, Octocon, held in Sandusky, on Lake Erie. While Octocon originally was founded as a way for fans from Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, and Cincinnati to get together, it eventually migrated south to Cincinnati, where CFG took over its running and it became a fall relaxacon, although never gained the standing that Midwestcon has.

Works by This Author

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