1956 January 12

Erotica Publisher Samuel Roth is Convicted of Obscenity, Heads to Supreme Court


A renegade publisher, notorious for publishing erotica, Samuel Roth was convicted on four counts of violating federal obscenity laws on this day. The conviction led to Roth v. United States, the first important Supreme Court decision on the First Amendment and obscenity, decided on June 24, 1957. Roth was sentenced to five years in prison and a $4,000 fine. During his long publishing career, which included several arrests, Roth published many different erotic works under the names of many different publishers.

No biography of Roth exists, but you can find many of his works if you search “Samuel Roth” at the American Book Exchange, a consortium of used book storeshttp://www.abebooks.com/

Learn more at the Erotic Heritage Museum: http://www.eroticheritagemuseum.com/

Learn more about the important Roth case: Whitney Strub, Obscenity Rules: Roth v. United States and the Long Struggle Over Sexual Expression (2013)

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