Obituary: John Mitzel of Calamus Bookstore

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John Mitzel, the 65-year-old owner of Calamus Bookstore in Boston, died at his home in Arlington, Massachusetts, on October 4 from complications from an earlier cancer treatment.

Mitzel opened Calamus Bookstore, a complete lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender specialty shop, 13 years ago, after working at Glad Day Bookshop in Boston, which shuttered in 2000.

An active member of Boston’s gay community, Mitzel co-founded the newspaper Fag Rag in 1971 and organized a major gay rights fundraiser in 1978.  He graduated from Boston University and authored 10 books in the genres of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Calamus Books is holding a celebration of Mitzel’s life, hosted by his brother David, at the store on Friday, October 11, at 7:00 p.m.