August 14, 1922 – June 6, 1993
Finley Hooper grew up in Detroit and was an assistant professor of Greek and Roman history at Michigan State University in the mid-1950s when he was discovered to be homosexual and forced to leave. He subsequently enjoyed a long and esteemed academic career at Wayne State University.
Grosse Pointe News, June 17, 1993
November 24, 1907 – August 12, 1971
James Francis Jones, better known as Prophet Jones, was a nationally renowned religious leader in Detroit famed for his flamboyance and fantastical predictions. In 1956, he was arrested for allegedly making an “indecent proposal” to an undercover vice officer.
The Advocate, September 15-28, 1971
June 8, 1937 – October 19, 1986
Fr. James Markunas was a graduate of Detroit’s Cody High School and Albion College. While serving as associate rector of St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Detroit, Fr. Markunas was arrested for peaceably demonstrating after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He died from AIDS-related complications at age 49.
Bay Area Reporter, October 23, 1986
October 15, 1909 – March 19, 1984
The son of a Russian junk peddler, Sam “Bookie” Stewart worked as manager of his brother-in-law’s bar the Silver Dollar in Detroit in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1959, Stewart opened the Diplomat, famed for his female impersonators, and from 1970 to 1984 operated Bookie’s Club 870 on West McNichol’s.
Metra, March 28, 1984
March 23, 1940 – March 12, 2004
A graduate of Southfield High School, Victoria “Vicky” Samalis operated the Underground beneath the Bell Bar on Eight Mile in Detroit from 1977 to 1990. She spent much of her retirement in Jacksonville, Florida.
A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home obituary
October 5, 1980 – December 13, 2014
Activist Robert Clark was past president of the Black Pride Society, which produces Detroit’s annual Hotter Than July celebration. He served on the Michigan HRC Steering Committee and was active in the Peninsula Group.
Between The Lines, December 18, 2014
February 7, 1923 – February 20, 2012
Flint resident Alice G. Miller operated her own photography business and in 1982 retired from General Motors after 28 years with the company. She was among the many people who attended gay house parties hosted by Ruth Ellis in Detroit during the 1950s.
Flint Journal, February 23, 2012