In Memoriam: Sam Warren

Sam Warren 1940-2020

Sam Warren was born to a Mennonite family in 1940 and was raised in a small town in Kansas. After attending a business college, he joined the Army in 1959 and was first assigned to Korea, Fort Riley, and then the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Sam started his writing and publishing career in the ‘60s when as an Army sergeant he was attached to the Defense Intelligence Agency and assigned to the American Embassy in Moscow in the middle of the cold war. His first experience as a writer was as a part-time editor of the embassy newsletter, “This Week in Moscow.” He also wrote articles for his hometown newspaper.
After leaving the service in 1970, he attended Orange Coast College and later started a publishing company that published a number of tabloids including a community newspaper “The Santa Ana Journal,” a military paper “The West Coast Military News” and a Spanish language community tabloid, “El Hispano.” He also published Orange County’s first gay newspaper and was the founder of the Orange County Gay and Lesbian Community Center.
After selling his business in 1980, he moved to San Diego where he was editor of the “Uptown San Diego Examiner” and published the short-lived “Border Business Journal.” His column, “The Baja Beat,“ was published in six community tabloids.
He wrote and published a number of books, including travel guides, Having Fun in Tijuana, Baja by Night, Sin Diego, and a humor book, The Priest, the Pastor, and the Rabbi.
In 2000, he was arrested on trumped-up charges at his bed and breakfast in Playas de Tijuana. The corrupt Mexican police stole everything he owned and he spent over three years in Baja prisons. In 2003, an honest lawyer was able to have all the charges dropped. His book, Tales from the Tijuana Jails, was written about his experiences in three Baja California prisons and the people he met inside.
In addition to book publishing for clients, he was a past-president of the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild and publisher of a webzine for the San Diego writers at

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