Paul Krassner Dead: Author-Political Activist Who Named Yippies Was 87
I didn’t always agree with Paul & co. but I will say their philosophy broke me out of an unquestioning shell in my adolescence, and helped shape me into questioning most things people say and do until I gain their essential truths.
Paul Krassner, the publisher, author and radical political activist on the front lines of 1960s counterculture who helped tie together his loose-knit prankster group by naming them the Yippies, died Sunday in Southern California, his daughter said.
Krassner died at his home in Desert Hot Springs, Holly Krassner Dawson told the Associated Press. He was 87 and had recently transitioned to hospice care after an illness, Dawson said. She didn’t say what the illness was.
The Yippies, who included Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman and were otherwise known as the Youth International Party, briefly became notorious for such stunts as running a pig for president and throwing dollar bills onto the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Hoffman and Rubin, but not Krassner, were among the so-called “Chicago 7” charged with inciting riots at 1968’s chaotic Democratic National Convention.
By the end of the decade, most of the group’s members had faded into obscurity. But not Krassner, who constantly reinvented himself, becoming a public speaker, freelance writer, stand-up comedian, celebrity interviewer and author of nearly a dozen books.