Robert Anton Wilson
Robert Anton Wilson

Celebrity Profile

Name: Robert Anton Wilson
Occupation: Novelist
Gender: Male
Birth Day: January 18, 1932
Death Date: Jan 11, 2007 (age 74)
Age: Aged 74
Birth Place: Brooklyn, United States
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

Social Accounts

Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
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Robert Anton Wilson

Robert Anton Wilson was born on January 18, 1932 in Brooklyn, United States (74 years old). Robert Anton Wilson is a Novelist, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Find out Robert Anton Wilsonnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.

Brief Info

An American author, philosopher, psychologist, and essayist, he co-authored The Illuminatus! Trilogy with Robert Shea. His other popular works include Schrodinger's Cat (a novel) and Wilhelm Reich in Hell (a play).


He described himself as an agnostic.

Does Robert Anton Wilson Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Robert Anton Wilson died on Jan 11, 2007 (age 74).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

After taking classes at New York University, he worked as an engineering aide, a salesman, a copywriter, and an associate editor of Playboy magazine.

Biography Timeline


Following his graduation in 1950, Wilson was employed in a succession of jobs (including ambulance driver, engineering aide, salesman and medical orderly) and absorbed various philosophers and cultural practices (including bebop, psychoanalysis, Bertrand Russell, Carl Jung, Wilhelm Reich, Leon Trotsky and Ayn Rand, whom he later repudiated) while writing in his spare time. He studied electrical engineering and mathematics at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute from 1952 to 1957 and English education at New York University from 1957 to 1958 but failed to take a degree from either institution.


Wilson married freelance writer and poet Arlen Riley in 1958. They had four children, including Christina Wilson Pearson and Patricia Luna Wilson. Luna was beaten to death in an apparent robbery in the store where she worked in 1976 at the age of 15, and became the first person to have her brain preserved by the Bay Area Cryonics Society. Arlen Riley Wilson died on May 22, 1999, following a series of strokes.


After smoking marijuana for nearly a decade, he first experimented with mescaline in Yellow Springs, Ohio on December 28, 1961. Wilson began to work as a freelance journalist and advertising copywriter in the late 1950s. He adopted his maternal grandfather's name, Anton, for his writings, telling himself that he would save the "Edward" for when he wrote the Great American Novel and later finding that "Robert Anton Wilson" had become an established identity.


He assumed co-editorship of the School for Living's Brookville, Ohio-based Balanced Living magazine in 1962 and briefly returned to New York as associate editor of Ralph Ginzburg's quarterly fact: before leaving for Playboy, where he served as an associate editor from 1965 to 1971. According to Wilson, Playboy "paid me a higher salary than any other magazine at which I had worked and never expected me to become a conformist or sell my soul in return. I enjoyed my years in the Bunny Empire. I only resigned when I reached 40 and felt I could not live with myself if I didn't make an effort to write full-time at last." Along with frequent collaborator Robert Shea, Wilson edited the magazine's Playboy Forum, a letters section consisting of responses to the Playboy Philosophy editorial column. During this period, he covered Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert's Millbrook, New York-based Castalia Foundation at the instigation of Alan Watts in The Realist, cultivated important friendships with William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg, and lectured at the Free University of New York on 'Anarchist and Synergetic Politics' in 1965.


Robert Anton Wilson and his wife Arlen Riley Wilson founded the Institute for the Study of the Human Future in 1975.


Wilson's book Cosmic Trigger I: The Final Secret of the Illuminati has been adapted as a theatrical stage play by Daisy Eris Campbell, daughter of Ken Campbell the British theatre maverick who staged Illuminatus! at the Royal National Theatre in 1977. The play opened on November 23, 2014 in Liverpool before transferring to London and Brighton. Some of the costs were met through crowdfunding. Wilson's book is itself dedicated to "Ken Campbell and the Science-Fiction Theatre Of Liverpool, England."


Although Wilson often lampooned and criticized some New Age beliefs, bookstores specializing in New Age material often sell his books. Wilson, a well-known author in occult and Neo-Pagan circles, used Aleister Crowley as a main character in his 1981 novel Masks of the Illuminati, also included some elements of H. P. Lovecraft's work in his novels, and at times claimed to have perceived encounters with magical "entities" (when asked whether these entities seemed "real", he answered they seemed "real enough," although "not as real as the IRS" but "easier to get rid of", and later decided that his experiences may have emerged from "just my right brain hemisphere talking to my left"). He warned against beginners using occult practice, since to rush into such practices and the resulting "energies" they unleash could lead people to "go totally nuts".


From 1982 until his death, Wilson had a business relationship with the Association for Consciousness Exploration, which hosted his first on-stage dialogue with his long-time friend Timothy Leary entitled The Inner Frontier. Wilson dedicated his book The New Inquisition to A.C.E.'s co-directors, Jeff Rosenbaum and Joseph Rothenberg.


He received a B.A., M.A. (1978) and Ph.D. (1981) in psychology from Paideia University, an unaccredited institution that has since closed. Wilson reworked his dissertation, and it found publication in 1983 as Prometheus Rising.


Illuminatus! won the Prometheus Hall of Fame award for Best Classic Fiction, voted by the Libertarian Futurist Society for science fiction in 1986, has many international editions, and found adaptation for the stage when Ken Campbell produced it as a ten-hour drama. It also appeared as two card based games from Steve Jackson Games, one a trading-card game (Illuminati: New World Order). Eye N Apple Productions and Rip Off Press produced a comic book version of the trilogy.

Wilson's 1986 book, The New Inquisition, argues that whatever reality consists of it actually would seem much weirder than we commonly imagine. It cites, among other sources, Bell's theorem and Alain Aspect's experimental proof of Bell's to suggest that mainstream science has a strong materialist bias, and that in fact modern physics may have already disproved materialist metaphysics.


Wilson's play, Wilhelm Reich in Hell, was published as a book in 1987 and first performed at the Edmund Burke Theatre in Dublin, in San Francisco, and in Los Angeles. It features many factual and fictional characters, including Marilyn Monroe, Uncle Sam, and Wilhelm Reich himself. Wilson also wrote and published as books two screenplays, not yet produced: Reality Is What You Can Get Away With: an Illustrated Screenplay (1992) and The Walls Came Tumbling Down (1997).


Wilson also supported the work and utopian theories of Buckminster Fuller and examined the theories of Charles Fort. He and Loren Coleman became friends, as he did with media theorist Marshall McLuhan and Neuro Linguistic Programming co-founder Richard Bandler, with whom he taught workshops. He also admired James Joyce, and wrote extensive commentaries on the author and on two of Joyce's novels, Finnegans Wake and Ulysses, in his 1988 book Coincidance: A Head Test.

Wilson also criticized scientific types with overly rigid belief systems, equating them with religious fundamentalists in their fanaticism. In a 1988 interview, when asked about his newly published book The New Inquisition: Irrational Rationalism and the Citadel of Science, Wilson commented:


A decades-long researcher into drugs and a strong opponent of what he called "the war on some drugs", Wilson participated as a Special Guest in the week-long 1999 Annual Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam, and used and often promoted the use of medical marijuana. He participated in a protest organized by the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Santa Cruz in 2002.


In a 2003 interview with High Times magazine, Wilson described himself as "model-agnostic" which he said


On June 22, 2006, Huffington Post blogger Paul Krassner reported that Wilson was under hospice care at home with friends and family. On October 2, Douglas Rushkoff reported that Wilson was in severe financial trouble. Slashdot, Boing Boing, and the Church of the SubGenius also picked up on the story, linking to Rushkoff's appeal. As his webpage reported on October 10, these efforts succeeded beyond expectation and raised a sum which would have supported him for at least six months. Obviously touched by the great outpouring of support, on October 5, 2006, Wilson left the following comment on his personal website, expressing his gratitude:


On January 6, 2007, Wilson wrote on his blog that according to several medical authorities, he would likely only have between two days and two months left to live. He closed this message with "I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying. Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd."

A tribute show to Wilson, organized by Coldcut and Mixmaster Morris and performed in London as a part of the "Ether 07 Festival" held at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on March 18, 2007, also included Ken Campbell, Bill Drummond and Alan Moore.

Family Life

Robert grew up in New York City and contracted polio as a child. Robert married Arlen Riley in 1958; they had four children.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Robert Anton Wilson is 90 years, 4 months and 5 days old. Robert Anton Wilson will celebrate 91st birthday on a Wednesday 18th of January 2023. Below we countdown to Robert Anton Wilson upcoming birthday.


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