Coll. 001: Mike Riegle Collection Finding Aid
Michael Riegle, journalist, gay liberationist and prisoner rights activist, was born in 1943 in Gary, Indiana. The son of a steel mill worker, he attended Knox College where he received his Bachelors Degree; he later received his Doctorate in the psychology of language from the University of Minnesota. Upon receiving his Doctorate, Riegle taught at Franklin and Marshall College and ended his teaching career at Cornell. Throughout the 1970s, Riegle traveled extensively through Europe, primarily Italy and France where he worked as a translator, English and children’s tutor. Fluent in both French and Italian, Riegle maintained an avid interest in language and continued studying Russian, Spanish, Greek and American Sign Language until his death. In 1978, upon his return to the United States, Riegle became involved with the anarchist paper The Fag Rag and became part of the Gay Community News staff in 1979. Riegle expanded the newspaper’s policy of providing free penpal ads to prisoners and began a program providing gays and lesbians behind bars with legal and health information. Riegle was an active advocate for prisoners and published on the subject extensively in GCN. He became a part of the Redbook Prison Book Program and advised the American Friends Service Committee and the AIDS Action Committee on the concerns of prisoners. Mike Riegle died on January 10, 1992 after a long struggle with AIDS.
The Mike Riegle Papers contain a variety of printed media, including newspaper articles, magazine clippings, whole newspapers and magazine issues, published essays, bibliographies, advertisements, pamphlets, newsletters, comics, fiction and poetry all related to the research and collective interests of Gay Community News journalist Michael Riegle. Although the collection consists primarily of clippings and other collected materials from various gay and mainstream media from 1973 to 1990, Riegle’s handwritten research notes on a variety of subjects can be found throughout, including those used in preparation for a review of Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality for Gay Community News.