Fred Boydell was born in Scotland on September 9, 1906, the son of a dairy farmer. His father died when Boydell was thirteen, and he was apprenticed to a manufacturer. He eventually settled near Glasgow. Although he realized he was gay before his teens, he married in his 30s; his wife, who was aware of his sexual orientation, died after approximately ten years, leaving a young daughter. In 1969, facing mandatory retirement, Boydell accepted the invitation of a friend, an antiques dealer in Los Angeles, to move to California and help him run the business. In Los Angeles, he became involved with the Society of Pat Rocco Enlightened Enthusiasts (SPREE). He later volunteered his services with ONE, Inc. He died in Los Angeles in February 1987.
Source: Fred Boydell Papers, Coll2008-047, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives.