Comic-Con International's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive returns for its 37th big year in 2013. Our blood drive is San Diego Blood Bank's longest-running event, and collected a record-breaking 1,413 pints of blood over the four-day convention in 2012.
The growth of our blood drive over the years has been phenomenal. The Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive began at San Diego Comic-Con back in 1977. That first year, 148 pints of blood were collected, and as the convention has grown so has our blood drive. Over the past 35 years, we've collected 12,488 pints of blood from Comic-Con attendees!
You can be a part of this year's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive. Check back later for more information on how to donate blood during Comic-Con International 2013!
A Brief History of Comic-Con International's Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drive
Then in the early 1970s, Heinlein had a life-threatening illness and needed many pints of a rare blood type. He felt he owed his life to the donors, so when asked to be a guest at the 1976 World Con in his hometown of Kansas City, he agreed-but with one specific stipulation: that he would only sign autographs for people who donated blood.
Thus longtime Comic-Con committee member Jackie Estrada approached the author with an offer to hold a blood drive in San Diego if he would consent to being a guest. He agreed, and in 1977 Heinlein came to Comic-Con. He and his wife, Ginny, had a great time and Heinlein even drew a picture for the Sunday morning Art Auction.
"David Scroggy [now a Vice President at Dark Horse Comics] was the first blood drive coordinator," recalls Estrada. "We also had Theodore Sturgeon there signing his book, Some of Your Blood, which he gave to all of the blood donors. We also had entertainment for the people while they were [donating blood]. I remember that Leslie Cabarga played the piano, C. C. Beck played the guitar. It was a very fun event and Robert was delighted. We've had the blood drive every year since."