Here, thanks to a very kind contributor who would like to go uncredited, is an actual letter from the man, the myth himself: Joseph Rosenberger. (And also a huge thanks to that same contributor for sending me this photo of Rosenberger and his wife, Virginia, taken in 1984!)
The original plan was to run an essay on Rosenberger, but as it turns out, this letter tells us more about the man than any other piece could. Perhaps a little too much. It’s my duty to inform you that portions of this letter are incredibly racist, and will perhaps shed light on an aspect of Rosenberger’s image that might’ve been better left untouched. But then, given the paucity of any kind of info on the guy, I thought I should upload the letter anyway, with the racist terms expunged. Also, it’s my bet that those who are familiar with Rosenberger will not be surprised to read some of the sentiments he expresses herein.
But then, as the contributor told me (and as Rosenberger himself admits in the letter), JR was a heavy drinker, and “it’s readily apparent how he gets drunker as the letter goes on.” Note too how in his "rules for life" at the end of the letter Rosenberger states that he judges people as individuals, not by race, as if the previous pages of vile vitriol had been written by someone else. In fact, reading this letter I don’t feel so much anger over the ugly sentiments expressed – instead, I start to feel sorry for the bitter old bastard.
And finally, one more piece of data on Rosenberger: He passed away in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 68, on December 2, 1993.