Biography of Armistead Maupin
Armistead Jones Maupin, Jr. (born May 13, 1944) is an American writer, best known for his Tales of the City series of novels, set in San Francisco.
Maupin worked at WRAL-TV (Channel 5) in Raleigh, a station then managed by future U.S. Senator Jesse Helms, who also delivered the station's well-known editorial segments throughout his management of the station in the 1960s. Helms nominated Maupin for a patriotic award, which he won. Maupin says he was a typical conservative and even a segregationist at this time and admired Helms, a family friend, as a "hero figure." He later changed his opinions dramatically — "I've changed and he hasn't" — and condemned Helms at a gay pride parade on the steps of the North Carolina State Capitol. Maupin is a veteran of the United States Navy; he served several tours of duty including one in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Maupin's work on a Charleston newspaper was followed with an offer of a position at the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971. He says he had known he was gay since childhood, but didn't have sex until he was 26 and only decided to come out in 1974 when he was about 30. The same year, he began what would become the Tales of the City series as a serial in a Marin County-based newspaper, the Pacific Sun, moving to the San Francisco Chronicle after the Sun's San Francisco edition folded.