Marshall Bloom

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Marshall Bloom (July 16, 1944 – November 1, 1969) is best known as the co-founder of the Liberation News Service (LNS) with Ray Mungo in 1967.

Early life and university studies[edit]

Marshall Bloom was born in Denver, Colorado. He attended Amherst College and graduated in 1966. While there, he served as Chairman of The Student publication and received the Samuel Bowles Prize for his accomplishments in journalism.[1] During the summer of 1965 Marshall worked as a Montgomery, Alabama, correspondent for The Southern Courier reporting on the Civil Rights struggle.[2]

Bloom was one of the 20 Amherst graduates who walked out during their own commencement to protest the awarding of an honorary degree to Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.[3]

Bloom achieved some national notoriety in England, where he attended the London School of Economics as a graduate student and was elected as President of its Student Union. He had a prominent role in the sit-ins and demonstrations there in the spring of 1967 protesting the appointment of Sir Walter Adams as the school's next director. He was suspended and his suspension sparked further demonstrations.[4] He was to have been Director of the United States Student Press Association in 1967 but he was "purged".[5][6]

Liberation News Service[edit]

The Liberation News Service was the "Associated Press" for more than 500 underground newspapers.[7] The inaugural issue of the Liberation News Service, a mimeographed news packet, was sent in the summer of 1967.[8]

In 1968, the LNS moved to New York, and in August, an internal split developed. Bloom left to contribute to the counterculture phenomenon of rural communes in the late 60s by buying a farm in Montague, Massachusetts and abandoning political activism in an urban setting and supplanting it with a Thoreauvian lifestyle. His former political colleagues, Ray Mungo and Verandah Porche were among the founders of a similar rural commune in southern Vermont.

For part of 1968, Bloom published the "LNS of the New Age" but the project died, when the ink froze in the mimeograph.[9]


Bloom committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.[10] On November 1, 1969 he was found dead in his car with the tailpipe connected to the window.[11] Many theories have emerged as to why he killed himself.[12][13] Allen Young (writer) and Amy Stevens have both suggested that he was closeted.[2][14] Young, Allen (1990) "Liberation News Service: A History"


  1. ^ Marshall Bloom Papers, 1959-1999, Amherst College, Archives & Special Collections
  2. ^ a b Stevens, Amy (2005). Daniel Shays' legacy? : Marshall Bloom, radical insurgency and the Pioneer Valley. Levellers Press. p. 31.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Blair, W. Granger. "Student Protest in London Goes On." New York Times (March 16, 1967): p. 11.
  5. ^ Leamer, Laurence (1972). The paper revolutionaries : the rise of the underground press. New York: Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-21143-1.
  6. ^ Glessing, Robert J. (1970). The underground press in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-20146-1.
  7. ^ "No Success Like Failure". Retrieved 2007-12-05. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Mungo, Ray (1970). Famous long ago : my life and hard times with the Liberation News Service. Beacon Press.
  9. ^ Diamond, Stephen (1971). What the trees said : life on a New Age farm. Delacorte.
  10. ^ Slonecker, Blake (2010). "We are Marshall Bloom : sexuality, suicide and the collective memory of the Sixties". The Sixties : A Journal of History, Politics and Culture. 3 (2): 187–205. doi:10.1080/17541328.2010.525844. S2CID 144406764.
  11. ^ Bruce Pollock, By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock 'n' Roll Revolution Of 1969
  12. ^ Insider histories of the Vietnam era underground press, part 1. Michigan State University Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-87013-983-3.
  13. ^ Slonecker, Blake (2010). "We are Marshall Bloom : sexuality, suicide, and the collective memory of the Sixties". The Sixties. 3 (2): 187–205. doi:10.1080/17541328.2010.525844. S2CID 144406764.
  14. ^ Young, Allen (1973). "Marshall Bloom : gay brother". Fag Rag (5): 6–7.