Gregg in the early 1980s

Gregg Ainsworth

A very brief biography:

Gregg Nathan Ainsworth was born on May 17, 1949 at the Permanente Hospital in Oakland, California (delivered by Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett, an African-American physician and publisher prominent in the San Francisco Bay area). His mother, Florence Maples, born in Kansas, was of African-American ancestry, and at the time of Gregg's birth worked in the office of Warehouse Local 6, ILWU (International Longshore & Warehouse Union). His father, George Ainsworth, born in Washington state, was of European-American ancestry, and worked on the San Francisco waterfront as a member of the Pile Driver's Union.

Gregg attended public schools in San Francisco and in Chicago, where he graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory High School in 1965. After graduation he joined the Navy, hoping that his high examination scores would gain him training as a nuclear technician, but his seasonal allergies earned him a medical disharge instead.

Gregg moved back to San Francisco and gradually became friends with an eclectic collection of young and old who were seeking alternatives to war and consumerism. He worked at various jobs while avidly pursuing his diverse personal interests in such topics as the emerging nations in Africa, American popular culture, world politics, and public radio broadcasting. He was a paraprofessional with the San Francisco Unified School District for a few years; Later he worked in the Noe Valley Cooperative Grocery and volunteered at KALW, one of San Francisco's public radio stations, where he eventually was employed as a radio technician until ill health drastically curtailed his ability to work.

In 1980 he married longtime friend and companion Betty de Losada. They lived together on Hill Street in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, in a home remembered by their friends as the site of many long and fascinating conversations and wonderful parties.

Gregg died unexpectedly in March of 1990 at the age of 40 and his ashes were scattered into the sea just outside the Golden Gate from a relative's fishing boat with family and friends aboard. His wife Betty has made Gregg's memoir The Bomb for My Pillow freely available for educational and nonprofit uses, in keeping with his dedication to the free and open sharing of information and with his enjoyment of a good story well-told.


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- last revised July 7, 2004 -