San Francisco Travel Association presents Silver Cable Car Award to Armistead Maupin

By: Laurie Armstrong

June 21, 2012 – At its 102nd Annual Luncheon meeting today, the San Francisco Travel Association presented the Silver Cable Car Award to Armistead Maupin, author of Tales of the City and many other books set in San Francisco.

The Silver Cable Car Award is presented annually by San Francisco Travel to an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to San Francisco’s visitor industry.

“Through newspapers, books, films and the stage, Armistead Maupin has introduced people around the world to a place that is as unique as the person reading about it. In his descriptions of people and places, he imparts a sense of acceptance and tolerance that lets the reader know that all are welcome here,” said Joe D’Alessandro, president and CEO of San Francisco Travel. “It’s no wonder that so many people say they knew they wanted to visit – or even live – in San Francisco after reading his books.”

In accepting his award, Maupin said, “I’m so happy to have this opportunity to stand here and thank you, all of you, and this city for giving me my life, for giving me my story, for allowing me to be me, allowing me to find who I was, and for continuing to do that. That’s scornfully referred to as ‘San Francisco values’ in other parts of the country. Here it’s something we’re proud of and you can see it here in this amazing amalgamation of gay and straight and ‘traveling,’ as I refer to it. I’m just so grateful to you San Francisco, thank you so much. I will always, always consider myself a San Franciscan, no matter where I am. San Francisco made me a citizen of the world. And I’ve learned this from people who read my books. Even people who don’t come here love it for the same reasons that those of us who live here love it. And that’s why it’s so magical. I’ve very honored. Thank you very much.”

Maupin was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. A graduate of the University of North Carolina, he served as a naval officer in the Mediterranean and with the River Patrol Force in Vietnam.

Armistead worked as a reporter for a newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, before being assigned to the San Francisco bureau of the Associated Press in 1971.

In 1976 he launched his groundbreaking Tales of the City serial in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Maupin is the author of ten novels, including the eight-volume Tales of the City series, Maybe the Moon, and The Night Listener. He’s currently working on his next book (the ninth Tales novel), entitled The Days of Anna Madrigal.

Two critically-acclaimed miniseries starring Olympia Dukakis and Laura Linney were made from the first three Tales novels. The Night Listener became a feature film starring Robin Williams and Toni Collette.

The musical version Tales of the City had its world premiere at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco in June, 2011. It was greeted so warmly, the run was extended. Previous recipients of the Silver Cable Car award include Herb Caen, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist with the “San Francisco Chronicle”; Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants; Jackson K. Hu, one of the impresarios behind the Chinese New Year parade and festival; Ruth Asawa, noted Japanese American artist; U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein; the San Francisco 49ers; Steve Silver of “Beach Blanket Babylon”; Kary Schulman, Grants for the Arts; the San Francisco Pride Celebration; Carol Shorenstein Hays, SHN, and last year’s recipients, the cable car operators.

The San Francisco Travel Association is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the city as a leisure, convention and business travel destination. With more than 1,500 members, San Francisco Travel is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country. Tourism, San Francisco’s largest industry, generates in excess of $8.46 billion annually for the local economy. The San Francisco Travel business offices are located at 201 Third St., Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103. ST Travel also operates the Visitor Information Center at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market Street at the corner of Powell and Market streets. For more information, call 415-974-6900 or visit

The San Francisco Travel Association’s 102nd Annual Luncheon was made possible by Wells Fargo with additional support from American Express®, the official credit card partner for the San Francisco Travel Association.

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