Gerard Vanderleun, 77, of Chico, California, died on January 27 after a short illness. Author, editor, writer’s agent, blogger, poet, and photographer, he was a larger-than-life personality with vast stores of energy and playful humor which he freely dispensed. A native Californian, he spent the bulk of his years in New York City as senior editor of Penthouse magazine as well as being a literary agent, with long stays in London as international editor of Penthouse, and a stint in Boston as editor of paperbacks at Houghton Mifflin.
Earlier he had worked in radio as director of drama and literature for KPFA-FM in Pacifica, California, and in his hippie days he had founded the San Francisco magazine Organ. He was an early and avid internet user and was the original director of communications for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as an active and formidable participant in the online community “The Well.” He authored the books The Rules of the Net and The Quotable Sherlock Holmes.
At the time of his death, Mr. Vanderleun was blogging at American Digest, a popular site he created many years ago and which gave free rein to his formidable writing skills and artistic eye. Earlier, he had been head editor of the online platform PJ Media during its formative years.
He was predeceased by his parents Lois and Albert (Van) and his brother Tom. He is survived by his brother Jeff, sister-in-law Kim, aunt Patsy, niece and nephew Katrina and Ryan, daughter Justine, two granddaughters, longtime love Jean Kaufman, cousins Greg and Karen Vanderleun and Linda,,David, and Mike McNair.