Milk, Harvey, 1930-1978

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Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) was an American politician and the first openly gay elected official in the history of California, where he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Although he was the most pro-LGBT politician in the United States at the time, politics and activism were not his early interests; he was neither open about his sexuality nor civically active until he was 40, after his experiences in the counterculture movement of the 1960s.

In 1972, Milk moved from New York City to the Castro District of San Francisco amid a migration of gay and bisexual men. He took advantage of the growing political and economic power of the neighborhood to promote his interests and unsuccessfully ran three times for political office. Milk's theatrical campaigns earned him increasing popularity, and in 1977 he won a seat as a city supervisor. His election was made possible by a key component of a shift in San Francisco politics.

Milk served almost eleven months in office, during which he sponsored a bill banning discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and employment on the basis of sexual orientation. The Supervisors passed the bill by a vote of 11–1, and it was signed into law by Mayor George Moscone. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a disgruntled city supervisor.

Despite his short career in politics, Milk became an icon in San Francisco and a martyr in the gay community. In 2002, Milk was called "the most famous and most significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the United States". Anne Kronenberg, his final campaign manager, wrote of him: "What set Harvey apart from you or me was that he was a visionary. He imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us." Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Kari Krakow papers, 1998-2000. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Nicoletta, Daniel. Daniel Nicoletta photographs collection, 1976-2000. San Francisco Public Library, Main Library
referencedIn Newman, Lesléa. A letter to Harvey Milk / Leslea Newman. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Bill Camilo Papers Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
referencedIn Franzoni, David. The mayor of Castro Street : a screenplay / by David Franzoni & Oliver Stone & Gus Van Sant. University of Missouri-Kansas City, Miller Nichols Library; Health Sciences Library; Dental Library
referencedIn Dobbins, Steve. The Dan White incident / by Steve Dobbins. Pepperdine University Libraries, Payson Library
referencedIn Krakow, Kari. Kari Krakow papers, 1998-2000. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Alfred, Randy. Randy Alfred subject files and sound recordings, 1974-1990. Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1850-2020 (inclusive), 1936-2008 (bulk) Houghton Library
referencedIn Ueda, Marie. Marie Ueda collection, 1975-1990, bulk, 1975-1979. Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California
referencedIn Epstein, Rob, 1955-.... The times of Harvey Milk / Rob Epstein, réal. ; Mark Isham, comp. ; Harvey Fierstein, voix. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
referencedIn Nicoletta, Daniel, 1954-. Dan Nicoletta photographs of San Francisco queer culture [graphic]. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Harvey Milk (Opera) [clippings] New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Rodwell, Craig, 1940-1993. Craig Rodwell papers, 1940-1993, bulk (1962-1993). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Mozley, Anne. Tales of Female Heroism.. United States. National Archives and Records Administration
referencedIn Kay Boyle letters to Helga Einsele, 1951-1992 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
referencedIn Craig Rodwell papers, 1940-1993, 1962-1993 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Harvey Milk (Opera) [clippings] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Shilts, Randy, 1951-1994. Harvey Milk : sa vie, son époque / Randy Shilts ; traduction, Aurélien Tremblay. Bibliothèque nationale de France, BnF
creatorOf Milk, Harvey. Harvey Milk Archives - Scott Smith Collection, 1919-1995 (bulk 1973-1985). San Francisco Public Library, Main Library
referencedIn Harvey Milk (Opera) [programs] New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Shilts, Randy. Randy Shilts papers, 1955-1994. San Francisco Public Library, Main Library
referencedIn Harvey Milk (Opera) [programs] New York Public Libraries for the Performing Arts, Dance Collection
referencedIn Bill Camilo Papers Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
referencedIn Marie Ueda Collection, 1975-1990, 1975-1979 Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
referencedIn Mann, Emily. Execution of justice: typescript, 1985. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Harvey Milk Letters to Joe Campbell, 1961-[1971] James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library
referencedIn Daniel Nicoletta Photographs Collection, 1976-2000 James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center, San Francisco Public Library
creatorOf Milk, Harvey. Harvey Milk letters to Susan Davis Alch, 1956-1962. San Francisco Public Library, Main Library
creatorOf Milk, Harvey. Harvey Milk letters to Joe Campbell, 1961-[1967?]. San Francisco Public Library, Main Library
Relation Name
correspondedWith Alch, Susan Davis person
associatedWith Alfred, Randy. person
associatedWith Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 person
associatedWith Camilo, Bill, 1959-1993. person
associatedWith Camilo, Guillermo (Bill) person
correspondedWith Campbell, Joe person
correspondedWith Campbell, Joe person
associatedWith Dobbins, Steve. person
associatedWith Franzoni, David. person
associatedWith Harvey, John. person
associatedWith Krakow, Kari. person
associatedWith Mann, Emily. person
associatedWith Newman, Lesléa. person
associatedWith Nicoletta, Daniel, 1954- person
associatedWith Rodwell, Craig, 1940-1993. person
associatedWith Shilts, Randy. person
associatedWith Shilts, Randy, 1951-1994. person
associatedWith Smith, Scott (Joseph Scott) person
associatedWith Ueda, Marie. person
memberOf United States. Navy corporateBody
associatedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
San Francisco CA US
Woodmere NY US
Subject
Gay politicians
Gay liberation movement
Politicians
Gays--Political activity
San Francisco (Calif.)
Gay men--Correspondence
Gay men--United States--Biography
LGBT
Speeches, addresses, etc., American
Nineteen seventies
Occupation
Politicians--California
Political activists--California
Political Activist
Politicians--California--San Francisco
Function

Person

Birth 1930-05-22

Death 1978-11-27

Male

Americans

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6nh5g11

SNAC ID: 85451020