Fall 2007
                        (pages 1, 3)


Dear Loyal Reader,

     The idea for my newsletter came when I was still at 
NATIONAL REVIEW (NR) magazine. Beginning with my time at 
NR, then with my national exposure with CBS Radio 
"Spectrum" and later as a syndicated columnist, readers 
would write to me asking for more. I left NATIONAL REVIEW 
in 1993. A few months later, my friend Howard Phillips 
decided to give me the 1994 annual Andrew Jackson 
Champion of Liberty Award from The Conservative Caucus. 
It was there that I reconnected with conservative 
activist and entrepreneur Fran Griffin, whom Howard had 
asked to organize the event.

     Then and now, Fran seems always to be organizing 
something. She had set up a very successful news 
conference for me and Phil Nicolaides to launch the 
Coalition to Avert a Mideast Holocaust, a small but 
worthwhile effort to oppose the Gulf War in 1990. Because 
of her conservative beliefs and her instinctive Roman 
Catholic views on just about everything, I asked her if 
she would be a business partner with me in starting my 
own newsletter. She agreed, but I am sure she had little 
idea of what she was letting herself in for.

     Howard Walsh of Keep the Faith, an organization that 
provides recordings and videos of Catholic luminaries, 
offered his studio to me to record an audio tape to use 
as a premium for new subscribers. I quickly penned the 
45-minute essay "How Tyranny Came to America" and 
recorded it. Howard Walsh helped us with a mailing to the 
300 people who had attended The Conservative Caucus 
dinner plus some other names. He also came up with the 
idea of having "Charter Subscribers," benefactors who 
would contribute $1,000 to support SOBRAN'S.

     Finally we were ready and in September 1994 we 
published our first issue. Professional editor Ronn Neff, 
a libertarian Catholic, was enlisted as our proofreader. 
Our first issue was September 1994. Our press run was 
slightly under 500 copies. With word of mouth and a few 
more mailings, we soon hit 1,000 and then 1,500 

     By the following year, we had enough Charter 
Subscribers to hold our first annual benefactors' party. 
Without that idea of Mr. Walsh's, the newsletter could 
never have continued as long as it has.

     As the years went on, I began to see how difficult 
it is to sustain a newsletter and make it grow. With 
climbing postage rates and printing costs as well as 
administrative costs to keep track of the lists, process 
the orders, and handle the phone calls, it was more 
involved than I had ever imagined. However, there were 
some benefits to me through the Vere Company, the 
corporation that Fran Griffin and I formed as the legal 
entity for SOBRAN'S. The various part-time staff members 
have always gone out of their way to assist me. I am 
thinking particularly of Susan Roberson, who has worked 
for SOBRAN'S (and a couple of Fran's other enterprises) 
since the beginning.

     To Fran's credit, she was able to reduce costs down 
to the bare bone, enlisting the St. Martin de Porres Lay 
Dominican Community's print shop in New Hope, Kentucky, 
to handle the list management, printing, and mailing of 
the monthly newsletter. She organized diverse promotional 
efforts to get new subscribers.

     I never realized how much effort it takes to have an 
ongoing newsletter. In my simplistic initial concept, I 
envisioned that subscribers would pay about $50 each. If 
I got enough of those, I could pay costs and have a nice 
nest egg for myself. I did not foresee how difficult it 
is to convince a lot of people to subscribe -- and then 
renew -- not to mention marketing expenses and endless 
administrative work for Fran and her part-time staff 
members. To help us to grow, marketing had to be ongoing 
and constant. But we always operated on a shoestring and 
marketing is expensive.

     THE WANDERER, for which I wrote a weekly column, 
allowed me to put a little promo at the end of each one. 
But my loyal partner, Fran, was hard-pressed to come up 
with the money to do proper marketing.

     Over the past five years or so, the newsletter 
became a labor of love in that it was barely keeping 
afloat. What I thought could provide me an income in my 
golden years, was now becoming a worry -- especially to 
Fran Griffin, who is the real reason that it kept going. 
She engaged in a number of fundraising appeals and 
somehow was able to make ends meet.

     I felt that I had to pursue other writing projects 
to pay my rent. I then learned that, along with our 
Charter (benefactor) Subscribers, the print shop of the 
Lay Dominicans in New Hope, Kentucky, was the real reason 
that the newsletter could go on. They allowed us very 
generous terms as long as we kept making some regular 

     Last year we did an extensive subscription campaign 
that netted about 300 new subscribers. Earlier this year, 
I asked you to help, and Fran and I both outlined the 
monies needed to keep the printed version going. With 
fewer than 1,000 subscribers now, I was pleased when Fran 
told me that the campaign was going well and that about 
$25,000 had come in. That is a large amount considering 
the number of subscribers. However, it is still short of 
the goal necessary to pay off the debts and have enough 
to keep going without getting further in debt.

     It has become increasingly evident that the 
newsletter is too costly to continue -- especially when 
it is so inexpensive to send my columns out by e-mail. I 
know that some people don't use e-mail or prefer holding 
the newsletter in their hands to reading it on a computer 
screen. The answer to that -- although I admit it is not 
the best remedy -- is get the articles by e-mail or on 
the Web and print them out to read.

     Also, at, the articles are more 
attractively formatted and easy to print.

     I told Fran this past week that considering my 
health and financial concerns, it has become increasingly 
difficult for me to be as productive as in the past.

     Fran had a remedy. She proposed that the Fitzgerald 
Griffin Foundation (FGF) be the depository for all of my 
writings. FGF could sponsor my columns and articles for 
distribution by e-mail and the Web. FGF could organize 
and publish a series of collections of my writings. She 
points out that it is easier to raise money through a 
non-profit foundation than it is through a for-profit 

     Thus a few days ago, I assigned the copyrights for 
all of my past and present articles to FGF (excluding my 
ALIAS SHAKESPEARE book and my unpublished books KING 
LINCOLN and I SHAKESPEARE). FGF will be giving me 
writer's fees and royalties for articles and collections 
they are planning. Several benefactors have already 
pledged to make donations to FGF to enable me to have 
ongoing writer's fees for my work, and to help FGF 
assemble collections of my articles.

     With this vehicle for an ongoing promotion and 
distribution of my works, the time has come to close one 
chapter and begin another. This will be the last edition 
of SOBRAN'S but not the last of Joe Sobran's writing.

     This is a very sad moment for me. I have received so 
much encouragement, support, and cheer from my many loyal 
readers over the years. I wish I could keep SOBRAN'S 
going, but the finances and my health are compelling me 
to put an end to this fine little journal and begin a new 
phase of my life.

     I need your prayers as I face declining health, 
energy, and finances. And I hope you will support the 
Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation with a tax-deductible gift 
to help them to promote my writing.

     Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.

                                             All my best,     

                                             Joe Sobran

P.S. All subscribers are entitled to immediately switch 
to the FGF E-Package and have the balance of their print 
subscription fulfilled by THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE, 
more information, call 800-513-5053 or write


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Copyright (c) 2007 by Fitzgerald Griffin Foundation, 
All rights reserved.