Born in Des Moines on August 21, 1928, Gruber...enlisted in the marines. ... After [he] was honorably discharged in 1949, he studied English literature at Occidental College and befriended authors Christopher Isherwood and W. H. Auden, and psychologist Evylyn Hooker.
In April of 1951 Gruber and his boyfriend, Konrad "Steve" Stevens attended a meeting hosted by a gay advocacy group [Bachelors Anonymous] soon to be known as the Mattachine Society... According to historian John D'Emillion, it was Gruber who suggested the name Mattachine Society for the new group, inspired by Hay's talk about the medieval "mattachines".
... Gruber readily embraced his "newly chosen family" and brokered a meeting between the Society and Gruber's famous friends Isherwood and Hooker.
Gruber was also responsible for a famous photo of the Mattachine Society [see hyper-link] that now appears in LBBT history books. According to historian Daniel Hurewitz, "Hay was so concerned about secrecy that Gruber had to convince him that there was no film in the camera when he took the picture; he revealed the truth years later."*
On November 12, 1998, the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality in Los Angeles gave Gruber a Public Service Award as a "pioneer and barrier broker". Gruber lied his lat years in Santa Clara, enduring ill health but ably assisted by his good friend Nicholas Pisca. Gruber left behind a manuscript, The Devient: An Illustrated Autobiography which details his life and times.