Joseph Francis Manning came into this world on April 20, 1045. He was born at home to Francis and Josephine Manning. He would leave this world, on his own terms, one day after his 69th birthday at a place he had grown to love over his lifetime, San Diego, California.
Being born the same year that World War II came to its final end, Frank’ childhood was spent during a time of great transition. Growing up during a period of great patriotism, “Frankie” as he was called, would spend a lot of time studying the photographs taken on the battlefield. As he began to mature, Frank’s understanding of the politics behind war started influence him more.
After obtaining a B.S. in Communications at a small eastern college, Frank was soon working as a crime reporter at a mid-sized New England newspaper. When the U.S. officially entered the Korean Conflict, Frank petitioned for and was given the opportunity to head over seas and to the front lines. The experienced changed him.
Upon his return to the states, he returned to work at his previous paper, and a few short years later was covering the 1968 Democratic National Convention. He was briefly jailed with a couple of other journalists when they were mistaken for protesters. Before long, Frank found himself reporting from the front lines of another “war.” This time in Vietnam. The horrors he experienced first hand, in his own words, “Warped me for life.”
Frank remained in Vietnam for the conflicts duration, with the exception of a return to the states to cover the 1972 presidential elections. During the Democratic National Convention, he was clubbed by police. He nearly died in that episode.
Following the end to the Vietnam Conflict, Frank moved to San Francisco. Disillusioned with much of life, especially his conflicted patriotism, Frank led a marginal life, writing occasionally for a couple of underground newspapers. Frank had always enjoyed recreational drug use, especially hallucinogens. Mushrooms were his favorite, although he would take LSD on occasion.
On July 4, 1976, during a huge celebration of the nation’s bi-centennial, Frank got a hold of some especially potent LSD and suffered a severe nervous breakdown. He spent the next 30 years in various mental institutes throughout the country. He was finally released in the spring of 2006 after convincing his therapists that he was now functional. To further emphasize his rehabilitation, he took a job reporting from Iraq as he covered the Gulf War.
All throughout his life, Frank would make trips to San Diego, CA, a place he had fell in love with during his frequent stays in California. He always considered Mission Beach home.
In 2011, Frank started an online magazine called “The TRIP Files.” Although the magazine had marginal success, it folded after nine months due to poor accounting practices.
Towards the end of 2013, Frank began assembling a crew of top notch writers to help him launch what is now known as The BEAT. Within a few short weeks, the magazines reach topped over 12,300 people. In April of 2014, Frank stood down as Editor in Chief, and appointed Joseph Johnson to the spot. Frank still maintains a hand in the day to day operations, but also devotes his time to his other ventures.
Feeling for the first time that his life had come full circle, Frank decided to take a trip to his beloved San Diego. There he decided to leave this world while feeling a final sense of accomplishment.
Per a request he had made known throughout his lifetime, there will be no final services and his ashes will be spread along Mission Beach. He leaves behind no next of kin.
Read a message from J. Francis Manning by clicking here.