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Leonard Wolf is a poet, author, teacher, and the father of Naomi Wolf. He is known for his authoritative annotated editions of classic gothic horror novels, including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and The Phantom of the Opera, and critical works on the topic, as well as Yiddish translations of works ranging from those of Isaac Bashevis Singer to Winnie the Pooh.
Life and career
Born in Vulcan, Romania (Transylvania), Leonard was originally named 'Ludovic', which was changed upon his arrival in the United States in 1930 with his mother, Rose-ita, older brother, Maxim (Mel) and younger sister, Shirly. He wrote and published numerous poems, short stories, book reviews and articles, and was part of the Berkeley Renaissance of the late 1940s and 1950s. He was a professor of English at San Francisco State University (SFSU) until moving to New York around 1980, focussing on teaching poetry. He is the author of several books including A Dream of Dracula, Blood Thirst, 100 Years of Vampire Fiction (editor), Bluebeard : The Life and Crimes of Gilles De Rais, Doubles, Dummies and Dolls : Twenty-One Terror Tales of Replication (editor), Dracula : the Connoisseur's Guide, False Messiah, Horror - A Connoisseur's Guide To Literature And Film, Monsters: Twenty Terrible and Wonderful Beasts From The Classic Dragon And Colossal Minotaur To King Kong And The Great Godzilla, Quiromancia/ Chiromancy, The False Messiah, Voices from the love generation (Little, Brown, 1968), The Glass Mountain: A Novel (Overlook Press, 1993), The Passion of Israel [By] Leonard Wolf. Interviews Taken and Edited in Collaboration with Deborah Wolf, Wolf's Complete Book of Terror (editor), and Vini-Der-Pu: A Yiddish version of Winnie the Pooh (Dutton 2000).
Wolf lives in New York. His daughter Naomi Wolf published The Treehouse: eccentric wisdom from my father on how to live, love, and see in 2005 (Simon & Schuster). He has been appointed to write the authorized biography of Isaac Bashevis Singer.
While teaching at San Francisco State University in 1967, Leonard started Happening House, one of many organizations that originated with the hippies of the Haight Ashbury district. It was conceived as an alternate university, an arts center and a place of learning. It often planned and sponsored social events such as softball games and free concerts. In collaboration with the Haight Ashbury Switchboard it had intermittent connections with the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic.
- Whether Vulcan, Brașov or Vulcan, Hunedoara is unclear
- Wolf, Naomi. The Treehouse: Eccentric wisdom from my father on how to live, love and see. p. 60.
- Poet be like God: Jack Spicer and the San Francisco renaissance, Lewis Ellingham, Kevin Killian, pp. 14-17, Wesleyan University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8195-5308-5, ISBN 978-0-8195-5308-9
- The Treehouse: Eccentric Wisdom from My Father on How to Live, Love, and See by Naomi Wolf