Cover photo for Elizabeth A. Hull's Obituary
Elizabeth A. Hull Profile Photo
1937 Elizabeth 2021

Elizabeth A. Hull

January 10, 1937 — August 3, 2021

A Memorial Visitation for Elizabeth A. Hull, 84, of Palatine, will be held August 12, 2021 from 3:00 pm until the time of the Memorial Service at 7:00 pm at the Ahlgrim Family Funeral Home, 201 N. Northwest Highway, Palatine. The Interment, at Mt. Hope Cemetery in Palatine, will be private. A live stream of the Memorial Service may be viewed here:

Scholar, author, editor, teacher, and political activist Dr. Elizabeth Anne Hull died August 3, 2021 at home in Palatine, Illinois, from complications a few months after falling and fracturing her hip. She was 84.

Born in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania January 10, 1937, “Betty” Hull lived most of her life in the Midwest. She graduated from high school in Park Forest, Illinois, and earned degrees at Wright Junior College, Northwestern University, and Loyola University. She taught English and Science Fiction for over 30 years at William Rainey Harper College, where she headed the Honors Program and earned the school’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 1997. The Alumni Association of Northwestern University honored her contributions to her profession with its Award of Merit in 1995. After retiring as professor emerita, Hull established a scholarship at Harper named the Elizabeth Schmik Hull Fund, to honor her mother, after whom she was named.

She married acclaimed Science Fiction writer Frederik Pohl in 1984. On their year-long honeymoon around the globe, Hull and Pohl collected 19 stories reflecting facets of the fantastic situation of human beings and aliens co-existing in one body, which was published as the anthology Tales from the Planet Earth (1986). For the rest of their marriage, they traveled frequently, attending numerous SF conventions and developing deep and long-lasting connections with SF authors, editors, publishers, and fans throughout the world. In 2010, Hull was the editor of the tribute anthology Gateways: Original New Stories Inspired by Frederik Pohl.

Hull served as president of the Science Fiction Research Association and edited their newsletter. She received the Thomas D. Clareson Award for Distinguished Service from SFRA in 1997. For over ten years, she served as North American secretary for the World SF International Organization for Professionals. She was a juror for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best SF novel for over 20 years. She wrote many critical essays, convention reports, and other non-fiction, with work appearing in ExtrapolationFantasy ReviewLocus, and other publications. She lectured on SF, ran writers’ workshops, and helped run numerous conventions.

In 1996, the Democratic Party selected Hull, a former president of the Palatine Area League of Women Voters, as its nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives for Illinois’ 8th District against the long-time Republican incumbent. She was defeated, but continued to be active in the League of Women Voters.

Devoted to her large blended family, she is survived by two daughters from her first marriage, Catherine Pizarro and Barbara Patterson, three step-children from her marriage to Frederik Pohl, Frederik Pohl IV, Ann Pohl, Kathy Pohl, two grandchildren, Christine McElwee and Eric Wintczak, three great-grandchildren, Everett and Audrey McElwee and Leif Wintczak, two sisters, Gloria May Hull and Trudi Bellardo Hahn, and a cousin, Myra Gillum.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to HOPE Giving Circle at Harper College.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth A. Hull, please visit our flower store.


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