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Jack Campbell
(1931 - ?) U.S.A.

Jack Campbell

Millionaire Florida businessman and activist

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He is a gay activist and the owner of Club Baths, the largest gay bathhouse chain in the nation. When Anita Bryant appeared on the scene with her homophobic philosopy and the organization, she founded Save Our Children, Inc.

Jack Campbell led the fight in Miami, to keep gay rights he organized a group called the Dade County Coalition for Human Rights.

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The Bath Club

One of the most important developments in the history of the gay baths involved gay ownership and the founding of one particular bathhouse chain in America. In 1965, Jack Campbell and two partners opened their own bathhouse in Cleveland.

According to an interview, Campbell had been impressed with the amenities offered at various San Francisco bathhouses, so he decided to open his own facility with "a better, cleaner atmosphere" than some of the sleazy places he had visited on the east coast. Thus, the Club Bath Chain was born, complete with amenities such as television rooms, vending machines, Jacuzzis, shag carpeting and wood paneling.

As business boomed over the next year, Campbell and his partners soon decided to open another bathhouse, the Sixth City Sauna, followed in 1967 by another using the name The Club, in Toledo. By 1971 the Club chain included fourteen bathhouses across the United States, offering student discounts and special rates for men who arrived in pairs on "Buddy Nights."

By 1973 the Club Baths had almost 500,000 card-carrying members, which was not surprising since the 70's was the decade that saw the largest number of gay bathhouses open their doors to the thousands of men who would make their corridors buzz to life. "There was so much business to go around," said one bathhouse owner in Chicago, "that competition was not a problem."

Large cities could easily support two or three bathhouses, each of which had hundreds of customers a week renting a locker or a room for the night. In fact, thousands of men considered the "tubs" as the choice for an evening's pleasure instead of a bar or a disco.

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