From Wikipedia: Anton LaVey
LaVey was born in Chicago, Illinois to Jewish parents Michael Joseph Levey, a liquor distributor from Omaha, Nebraska, and his wife, Gertrude Augusta Coultron. His family soon moved to California, where he spent most of his early life in the San Francisco Bay Area and later in Globe, Arizona. According to his biography, his ancestry includes French, Alsatian, German, Georgian, and Romanian stock. His parents supported the development of his musical abilities as he tried his hand at various instruments, his favorite being keyboards such as the pipe organ and the calliope.
LaVey’s biography tells of his dropping out of high school to join a circus and carnivals, first as a roustabout and cage boy in an act with the big cats, later as a musician playing the calliope. LaVey later noted that seeing many of the same men attending both the bawdy Saturday night shows and the tent revival meetings on Sunday mornings reinforced his increasingly cynical view of religion. He later had many stints as an organist in bars, lounges, and nightclubs. While playing organ in Los Angeles burlesque houses, he reportedly had a brief affair with the then-unknown Marilyn Monroe as she was dancing at the Mayan Theater. This claim has been challenged by those who knew Monroe at the time, as well as the manager of the Mayan, Paul Valentine, who stated that she had never been one of his dancers, nor had the theater ever been used as a burlesque house or for “bump and grind” shows.
According to his biography, LaVey moved back to San Francisco where he worked for a while as a photographer for the police department. He also dabbled as a psychic investigator, looking into “800 calls” referred to him by the police department. Later biographers have questioned whether LaVey ever worked with the police, as there are no surviving records substantiating the claim.
LaVey met and married Carole Lansing, with whom he had his first daughter, Karla LaVey, in 1952. They divorced in 1960 after LaVey became entranced by Diane Hegarty. Hegarty and LaVey never married, but she was his companion for many years, and bore his second daughter, Zeena Galatea LaVey in 1963.
Becoming a local celebrity through his paranormal research and live performances as an organist (including playing the Wurlitzer at the Lost Weekend cocktail lounge), he attracted many San Francisco notables to his parties. Guests included Carin de Plessin, Michael Harner, Chester A. Arthur III, Forrest J. Ackerman, Fritz Leiber, Dr. Cecil E. Nixon, and Kenneth Anger.
LaVey began presenting Friday night lectures on the occult to what he called a “Magic Circle” of associates who shared his interests. A member of this circle suggested that he had the basis for a new religion. On Walpurgisnacht, 30 April 1966, he ritualistically shaved his head in the tradition of ancient executioners, declared the founding of the Church of Satan and proclaimed 1966 as “the year One”, Anno Satanas—the first year of the Age of Satan. Media attention followed the subsequent Satanic wedding ceremony of radical journalist John Raymond to New York socialite Judith Case on February 1, 1967 (photographed by Joe Rosenthal). The Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle were among the newspapers that printed articles dubbing him “The Black Pope.” LaVey performed Satanic baptisms (including one for Zeena) and Satanic funerals (including one for naval machinist-repairman third-class Edward Olsen, complete with a chrome-helmeted honor guard), and released a record album entitled The Satanic Mass.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, LaVey melded ideological influences from Ayn Rand, Friedrich Nietzsche, Aleister Crowley, H.L. Mencken, and Jack London with the ideology and ritual practices of the Church of Satan. He wrote essays introduced with reworked excerpts from Ragnar Redbeard’s Might is Right and concluded with “Satanized” versions of John Dee’s Enochian Keys to create books such as The Satanic Bible, The Compleat Witch (re-released in 1989 as The Satanic Witch), and The Satanic Rituals.
Due to increasing visibility through his books, LaVey was the subject of numerous articles in the news media throughout the world, including popular magazines such as Look, McCall’s, Newsweek, and TIME, and men’s magazines. He also appeared on talk shows such as Joe Pyne, Phil Donahue, and Johnny Carson, and in a feature length documentary called Satanis: The Devil’s Mass in 1970.
Hegarty and LaVey separated in the mid-1980s, and she sued for palimony. The claim was settled out of court. LaVey’s next and final companion was Blanche Barton. Barton and LaVey are the parents of Satan Xerxes Carnacki LaVey, born November 1, 1993. She succeeded herself as the head of the Church after his death, but has since stepped down from that role.
Anton LaVey died on October 29, 1997, in St. Mary’s Hospital, San Francisco of pulmonary edema. He was taken to St. Mary’s, a Catholic hospital, because it was the closest available. For reasons open to speculation, the time and date of his death was incorrectly (by two days) listed as the morning of Halloween on his death certificate. His daughter Zeena Schreck claimed responsibility for LaVey’s death through putting a ritual curse on him. A secret Satanic funeral, attended by invitation only, was held in Colma. LaVey’s body was cremated, with his ashes eventually divided amongst his heirs as part of a settlement, on the assumption that they possess occult potency, and can be used for acts of Satanic ritual magic. LaVey was known by many as “doctor” (sometimes spelled “doktor”), not a claim of academic standing.