Charles Henri Ford, a prolific artist who is regarded as America's first Surrealist poet, died Friday in Manhattan. He was 94. Ford published 16 books of poetry and also created paintings, drawings, collages, and photographs during a career of artistry that spanned more than six decades. In 1933 he also cowrote The Young and Evil, considered by many to be the first gay novel. Ford also edited two magazines, Blues: A Magazine of New Rhythms, which published the works of writers like William Carlos Williams and Gertrude Stein, and View, a popular literature and art magazine of the 1940s.
Born Charles Henry Ford in Hazelhurst, Miss., in 1908, Ford attended Catholic boarding schools as a child. His first poem was published in The New Yorker when he was a teenager.