He read his first science fiction story at the age of ten. Later, he briefly studied at the University of California-Berkeley before taking a job as a movie projectionist.
He started a science fiction book club in Los Angeles. A young Ray Bradbury was among the club's first members.
He was born in Los Angeles, California. He was married to Wendy Wahrman until her death in 1990.
He encouraged the science fiction writing career of L. Ron Hubbard.