Warren Hinckle

Page added 1999
Last updated March 2006

warren hinckle and bentley

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Readers of gonzo know Warren Hinckle for many reasons. Like Willie Hearst, Hinckle was the target of some pretty crabby mail from HST. However, of all the editors HST has worked with (and to have survived), Hinckle is probably the most versatile.

He started out editing Ramparts in 1961, a magazine to which HST subscribed and contributed to. Ramparts was originally a Catholic magazine. However, under Hinckle's direction, it unexpectedly became the voice of the American New Left. Hinckle was a seasoned reporter by this time, and Ramparts produced provoking journalism - Cardinal Spellman and the pro-Diem lobby that greased U.S. involvement in Vietnam; training in torture for U.S. Special Forces; the CIA's use of Michigan State University as a front for training Diem's secret police; the squeaky-clean National Student Association as a CIA cutout; the philanthropic J.M. Kaplan Fund ditto. The Warren Commission was also heavily criticized. A change in the times meant unfortunately that Ramparts had little left to rally against, and was gone by the early seventies.

Later, he was co-editor of Scanlan's Monthly, the short lived sporting and contemporary magazine that published four gonzo pieces, including "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved" and "The Temptations of Jean-Claude Killy". When Playboy decided not to run the Killy story, HST took it to Scanlan's instead. Hinckle also edited the more recent City of San Francisco, a weekly put out by Francis Ford Coppola. Although criticially acclaimed, it was short lived as well (note - a lot of magazines are short-lived. This is why they are agony for libraries - they change names, are numbered irregularly and often have "special" issues the library never receives).

Hinckle has written or co-authored several books - The 10-second jailbreak; the helicopter escape of Joel David Kaplan (1973); If you have a lemon, make lemonade (1974, 1990); The richest place on earth : the story of Virginia City, and the heyday of the Comstock lode (1978); The fish is red : the story of the secret war against Castro (1981); The Big Strike : A Pictorial History of the 1934 San Francisco General Strike (1984) The George Bush Dilemma (1989); The Agnos years, 1988-1991 (1991); Deadly secrets : the CIA-Mafia war against Castro and the assassination of J.F.K. (1992) J Parker Whitney - Frontier Conservationist & Versitile Man of the West (1993) and Do No Harm (1996).

His work in The Argonaut has so far spawned six volumes. He is also the president of Argonaut Press, and the editor and publisher of The Argonaut, which apparently is a historic San Fran magazine that started in 1882. Obviously he is very close to San Francisco but also divides his time between there and New York. He is also the lead columnist for The Independent and a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner. Described as a "hellraiser", Hinckle has also won the Thomas Paine and H.L. Mencken awards.

Warren Hinckle is alive and well and his most recent work can be always read in the SF Examiner. He can also be contacted through the site. He is also the editor of the upcoming book Who Killed Hunter S. Thompson?.