Christine Jorgensen Biography Christine Jorgensen (May 30, 1926 – May 3, 1989) was the first widely known person to have sex reassignment surgery – in this case, male to female. She was born George William Jorgensen, Jr. , the second child of George William Jorgensen Sr. , a carpenter and contractor, and his wife, the former Florence Davis Hansen. She grew up in the Bronx and later described herself as having been a “frail, tow-headed, introverted little boy who ran from fistfights and rough-and-tumble games”. She graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in 1945 and shortly thereafter was drafted into the Army.
After being discharged from the Army, Jorgensen attended Mohawk College in Utica, New York, the Progressive School of Photography in New Haven, Connecticut, and the Manhattan Medical and Dental Assistant School in New York City, New York. Jorgensen briefly worked for Pathe News. Returning to New York after military service and increasingly concerned over (as one obituary called it) her “lack of male physical development”, Jorgensen heard about the possibility of sex reassignment surgery, and began taking the female hormone ethinyl estradiol on her own.
She researched the subject with the help of Dr. Joseph Angelo, a husband of one of Jorgensen’s classmates at the Manhattan Medical and Dental Assistant School. Jorgensen intended to go to Sweden, where the only doctors in the world performing this type of surgery at the time were to be found. At a stopover in Copenhagen to visit relatives, however, Jorgensen met Dr. Christian Hamburger, a Danish endocrinologist and specialist in rehabilitative hormonal therapy. Jorgensen ended up staying in Denmark, and under Dr.
Hamburger’s direction, was allowed to begin hormone replacement therapy, eventually undergoing a series of surgeries. According to an obituary: “With special permission from the Danish Minister of Justice, Jorgensen had his [sic] testicles removed first and his still-undeveloped penis a year later. Several years later Jorgensen obtained a vaginoplasty, when the procedure became available in the U. S. , under the direction of Dr. Angelo and a medical advisor Harry Benjamin. Jorgensen chose the name Christine in honour of Dr. Hamburger.
She became a spokesperson for transsexual and transgender people. Famous Asked Questions for Women Famous Women and Their Contribution Abby Kelley Foster Year Honored: 2011 Birth: 1811 – Death: 1887 Born In: Massachusetts, Died In: Massachusetts, Achievements: Humanities Educated In: Rhode Island Schools Attended: Providence Friends School Worked In: Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan During her lifetime, Abby Kelley Foster followed the motto, “Go where least wanted, for there you are most needed. A major figure in the national anti-slavery and women’s rights movements, she spent more than twenty years travelling the country as a tireless crusader for social justice and equality for all. Foster was born into a Quaker family in Pelham, Massachusetts in 1811, and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts at a time when society demanded that women be silent, submissive and obedient. After attending boarding school, she held teaching positions in Worcester, Millbury and Lynn, Massachusetts.
In Lynn, she joined the Female Anti-Slavery Society, where she became corresponding secretary and later, a national delegate to the first Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women in 1837. The following year, Foster made her first public speech against slavery, and was so well received that she abandoned her teaching career and returned to Millbury. There, she founded the Millbury Anti-Slavery Society and began lecturing for the American Anti-Slavery Society. During the next two decades, Foster served as a lecturer, fundraiser, recruiter and organizer in the fight for abolition and suffrage.
In 1850, she helped develop plans for the National Women’s Rights Convention in Massachusetts. There, she gave one of her most well-known speeches, in which she challenged women to demand the responsibilities as well as the privileges of equality, noting “Bloody feet, sisters, have
In her later years, once slavery was abolished and the rights of freedmen were guaranteed, Foster focused her activism primarily on women’s rights. She held meetings, arranged lectures, and called for ‘severe language’ in any resolutions that were adopted. In 1868, she was among the organizers of the founding convention of the New England Woman Suffrage Association, the first regional association advocating woman suffrage. Foster’s efforts were among those that helped lay the groundwork for the nineteenth amendment to the U. S. Constitution. Lilly Ledbetter Year Honored: 2011
Birth: 1938 – Born In: Alabama, Achievements: Humanities Educated In: Alabama Schools Attended: Worked In: Alabama, District of Columbia For more than a decade, Lilly Ledbetter fought to achieve pay equity. It was in Alabama, where Ledbetter was born and raised, that she began a crusade that would eventually lead her all the way to the nation’s capital. In 1979, Ledbetter took a job at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Gadsen, Alabama. Although she was the only woman in her position as an overnight supervisor, Ledbetter began her career earning the same salary as her male colleagues.
By the end of her career, however, Lilly was earning less than any of the men in the same position. Although she signed a contract with her employer that she would not discuss pay rates, just before Ledbetter’s retirement an anonymous individual slipped a note into her mailbox listing the salaries of the men performing the same job. In spite of the fact that Ledbetter had received a Top Performance Award from the company, she discovered that she had been paid considerably less than her male counterparts.
Ledbetter filed a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and later initiated a lawsuit alleging pay discrimination. After filing her complaint with the EEOC, Ledbetter, then in her 60s, was reassigned to such duties as lifting heavy tires. The formal lawsuit claimed pay discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Although a jury initially awarded her compensation, Goodyear appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court. In 2007 the Supreme Court ruled on the Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. ase. In a 5-4 decision, the court determined that employers cannot be sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act if the claims are based on decisions made by the employer 180 days ago or more. Due to the fact that Ledbetter’s claim regarding her discriminatory pay was filed outside of that time frame, she was not entitled to receive any monetary award. After that decision, Ledbetter lobbied tirelessly for equal pay for men and women. Her efforts finally proved successful when President Barack Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law on January 29, 2009.
Ledbetter said of her continuous and persistent efforts, “I told my pastor when I die; I want him to be able to say at my funeral that I made a difference. ” Loretta C. Ford Year Honored: 2011 Birth: 1920 – Born In: New York, Achievements: Science Educated In: New Jersey, Colorado Schools Attended: Middlesex General Hospital; University of Colorado, School of Nursing, Boulder; University of Colorado, School of Nursing, Denver; University of Colorado, School of Education; Evergreen Institute Worked In: New Jersey, Colorado, Washington, New York, Japan
An internationally renowned nursing leader, Dr. Loretta C. Ford has transformed the profession of nursing and made health care more accessible to the general public. In 1942, Ford received her Diploma in Nursing from Middlesex General Hospital in New Jersey and began her professional career as a staff nurse with the Visiting Nurses’ Association. She went on to serve as a First Lieutenant in the U. S. Army Air Force from 1943-1946. In 1949, Ford received her B. S. from the University of Colorado, School of Nursing, and in 1951, she obtained her M. S. from the same university. From 1948-1958, Dr.
Ford held several different roles at the Boulder City County Health Department, and from 1955-1972 she held various teaching positions at the University Of Colorado Schools of Nursing. In 1961, she earned her Ed. D. from the University of Colorado School of Education. In the early 1960s, Dr. Ford discovered that, because of a shortage of primary care physicians in the community, health care for children and families was severely lacking. In 1965, she partnered with Henry K. Silver, a pediatrician at the University of Colorado Medical Center, to create and implement the first pediatric nurse practitioner model and training program.
The program combined clinical care and research to teach nurses to factor in the social, psychological, environmental and economic situations of patients when developing care plans. When the program became a national success in 1972, Dr. Ford was recruited to serve as the Founding Dean of the University of Rochester School of Nursing. At the university, Dr. Ford developed and implemented the unification model of nursing. Through the model, clinical practice, education and research were combined to provide nurses with a more holistic education. Dr.
Ford is the author of more than 100 publications and has served as a consultant and lecturer to multiple organizations and universities. She holds many honorary doctorate degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Living Legend Award from the American Academy of Nursing and the Gustav O. Lienhard Award from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Today, it is estimated there are 140,000 practicing nurse practitioners in the United States and close to 9,000 new nurse practitioners are prepared each year at over 325 colleges and universities. Oprah Winfrey Year Honored: 1994 Birth: 1954 –
Born In: Mississippi, United States of America Achievements: Arts, Business, Philanthropy Educated In: Tennessee Schools Attended: Tennessee State University Worked In: Illinois, Tennessee, Maryland, District of Columbia, California, New York At the heart of everything Oprah Winfrey does, there is a consistent message – that individuals should take personal responsibility for their lives, and to improve the world. Winfrey is the first African-American woman to own her own production company; a talented actress nominated for an Academy Award in her first movie; television’s highest-paid entertainer; producer and actress n her own television specials; and the successful host of a syndicated television talk show that reaches 15 million people a day. She does all that she can to eradicate child abuse. As a victim herself, Winfrey knows the damage abuse does to young lives, and she was a major force in the drafting, lobbying and passage of the National Child Protection Act, signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. The Act establishes a national registry of child abusers to help employers and those working with children to screen out dangerous people.
Winfrey is also a committed philanthropist, providing significant assistance to schools (Morehouse College, Tennessee State University, Chicago Academy of Arts) as well as to the Chicago Public Schools. She also funds battered women’s shelters and campaigns to catch child abusers. Billie Holiday Year Honored: 2011 Birth: 1915 – Death: 1959 Born In: Maryland, Died In: New York, Achievements: Arts Educated In: Maryland Schools Attended: Worked In: Maryland, New York, Missouri, California, Illinois, Canada
Considered by many to be one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time, Billie Holiday triumphed over adversity to forever change the genres of jazz and pop music with her unique styling and interpretation. Holiday was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and moved to New York City with her mother at a young age. There, she began work as a maid. However, in 1931, she left that employment to pursue work as a dancer in Harlem nightclubs. At one of those clubs, she was asked to sing. She quickly began singing in many of the Harlem nightclubs and soon established a following of admirers, despite having had no formal musical training.
Holiday’s career began to grow, thanks in part to the interest of John Hammond of Columbia Records, who organized her first recording with Benny Goodman in 1933. She debuted at the Apollo Theatre in 1935, and began recording under her own name in 1936. Holiday toured extensively in 1937 and 1938 with the Count Basie and Artie Shaw bands. While on tour, Holiday was often subjected to discrimination. Perhaps Holiday’s most notable collaborations were with legendary saxophonist Lester Young, who gave Holiday her moniker “Lady Day. Together, they created some of the most important jazz music of all time. Of her groundbreaking vocal style and delivery, Holiday once said, “I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That’s all I know. ” As both a vocalist and a songwriter, Holiday penned God Bless the Child and Lady Sings the Blues, among others. Her interpretation of the anti-lynching poem Strange Fruit was also included in the list of Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Holiday’s autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues, was written in 1956. She won five Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Nesuhi Ertugan Jazz Hall of Fame in 2004. Holiday, known for her deeply moving and personal vocals, remains a popular musical legend more than fifty years after her death. In spite of personal obstacles, Holiday inspired many with her vocal gifts and continues to be recognized as a seminal influence on music.