Author to discuss new book on Aurora legend Randy Shilts

  • Andrew E. Stoner

    Andrew E. Stoner

Updated 5/30/2019 12:13 PM

On Saturday, June 8, the Aurora Public Library welcomes author Andrew E. Stoner for a discussion on his upcoming book release, "The Journalist of Castro Street: The Life of Randy Shilts," at 10 a.m. at the Santori Library, 101 S. River St. in Aurora.

Free copies of his biography are available to the first 30 registrants.


Stoner is an author and journalist currently serving as Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at California State University in Sacramento, California. Born in Indiana in 1964, Stoner earned his Ph.D in Public Communication and Technology from Colorado State University in 2013.

Some of his first published works illustrate a firm connection to the Midwest and Indiana, in particular, with titles such as "Notorious 92: The Most Famous Murder from Each of Indiana's 92 Counties" and "Wicked Indianapolis," emphasizing an early authorial interest in true-crime journalism and Indiana history.

His most recent biography, "The Journalist of Castro Street: The Life of Randy Shilts," takes both a political and personal turn as he chronicles the complicated life and career of this iconic reporter.

In the preface, Stoner highlights the impact Shilts had on him as a graduate student, stating, "What Shilts accomplished with his writing, becoming a respected and sought-after expert on once-hidden subjects, shining light in dark places, was what I envisioned it meant to be a journalist and a truly liberated member of this society as a gay man."

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With "The Journalist of Castro Street" due for release on May 30, the Aurora Public Library presents a rare first opportunity to hear Stoner speak about his research and writing on the life of a local legend.

Shilts moved to Aurora as a young child, graduating from West Aurora High School and attending Aurora College (now Aurora University).

Working closely with the Aurora Public Library's Local History Librarian Robb Winder, Stoner was able to piece together a story of young Shilts as he struggled to identify himself in a particular place and time, ultimately finding himself on the West Coast during the AIDS epidemic. Shilts is the author of the 1987 book "And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic." He died in 1994 at age 42.

"When you get down to it, Randy Shilts is one of the most important people to come out of Aurora and impact events on a national scale. It's about time someone wrote his biography," says Winder.

"We are so excited to highlight the life of such an iconic local figure through the expert lens of esteemed author Andrew E. Stoner. This is an important opportunity to showcase the ways in which our library can inform and inspire local research in service to a more far-reaching audience," says Krista Danis, events and program coordinator.

Keep Pride Weekend alive in Aurora at the Santori Library as they welcome author Andrew E. Stoner to share his research on Shilts and his contributions to the historical gay rights movement.

Register now for your chance to win a copy at

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