(1914-2010) US journalist and author of considerable nonfiction, including studies in American contemporary history with Cornelius Ryan (1920-1974). He began to publish sf with "The Light Bender" for Wonder Stories in June 1931, and rapidly became known for Space-Opera tales of some bleakness, with a tendency toward Disaster, though some of his adventures featuring travel through various Dimensions, like "Star Ship Invincible" (January 1935 Astounding), lightened the gloom; his later titles were intermittently infused with an idealistic glow. He stopped writing sf in 1935, turning to non-genre fiction and other enterprises, including a stint as speechwriter for Harry Truman, though his memories of sf, as expressed in "My Interplanetary Teens" (July 1947 Atlantic Monthly), were warm. It was not, however, until many years later that his sf work became available again, with the release of Starship Invincible: Science Fiction Stories of the 30s (coll 1979). He continued to be remembered in Fandom and was inducted into the First Fandom Hall of Fame in 1996.
Kelly cofounded the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in 1959, and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation in 1982, remaining actively involved in these and other roles well into the new century. In 2002 the latter organization established an annual Frank K Kelly Lecture on Humanity's Future, which continues. [JC]
born Kansas City, Missouri: 12 June 1914
died Santa Barbara, California: 11 June 2010