Reitman, Ben L. (Ben Lewis), 1879-1942

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Hobo, physician and anarchist, Ben Reitman (1879-1942) was an advocate for the disadvantaged in Chicago and throughout the country. Reitman left school at age ten to become a hobo. He tramped around the U.S., panhandling and riding the rails until he returned to Chicago and took a job as a laboratory boy. In 1900, he was admitted to the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Reitman started a private practice on Chicago's South Side in 1904. He continued to champion the causes of hobos and the unemployed as director of the Brotherhood Welfare Association, or "Hobo College." Through their organizing activities, Reitman met anarchist Emma Goldman. In addition to their romantic involvement, Reitman acted as Goldman's manager. In 1917, Reitman re-established his medical practice in Chicago that served prostitutes, pimps and gangsters. Reitman became a specialist in the treatment of venereal disease and opened the first venereal disease clinic at the Cook County Jail in 1924.

From the description of Papers, 1907-1942. (University of Illinois-Chicago Library). WorldCat record id: 52353418

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Reitman, Ben L. (Ben Lewis), 1879-1942. Papers, 1907-1942. University of Illinois at Chicago Library, UIC
creatorOf Reitman, Ben L. (Ben Lewis), 1879-1942. Letter [1910?] Chicago, to "My dear Lee" [n.p.] University of Michigan
referencedIn Emma Goldman Papers, Bulk, 1929-1940, 1908-1970, (Bulk 1929-1940) Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf Reitman, Ben L. (Ben Lewis), 1879-1942. Letter [191-?] Oct. 5, Chicago, to [J.B.] Barnhill [n.p.]. University of Michigan
referencedIn Goldman, Emma, 1869-1940. Papers of Leon Malmed and Emma Goldman, 1899-1982 (inclusive), 1899-1940 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf House, Floyd Nelson, 1893-1975. Papers of Floyd Nelson House [manuscript], 1919-1974. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Reitman, Ben L. (Ben Lewis), 1879-1942. Lucy Parsons; a tribute [1942?] University of Michigan
creatorOf Taylor, Graham, 1851-1938. Graham Taylor papers, 1820-1975, (bulk 1866-1940). Newberry Library
creatorOf Reitman, Ben L. (Ben Lewis), 1879-1942. Correspondence with Theodore Dreiser, 1929. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Weinberger, Harry, 1888-. Correspondence, with Agnes Inglis, 1917-1918. University of Michigan
creatorOf Charles H. Kerr Company. Charles H. Kerr Company records, 1885-1999. Newberry Library
creatorOf Cassius Cook papers, 1908-1950. University of Michigan
creatorOf Reitman, Ben L. (Ben Lewis), 1879-1942. Letters, to Agnes Inglis, 1916-1940. University of Michigan
referencedIn Frederick Albert Cook Papers, 1881-1977, (bulk 1891-1940) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Harry Weinberger papers, 1915-1944 Yale University Library
referencedIn Dill Pickle Club (Chicago, Ill.). Dill Pickle Club records, 1906-1941, bulk 1915-1935. Newberry Library
referencedIn Guide to the Rose Pastor Stokes Papers, 1905-1933 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Rose Pastor Stokes Papers, Bulk, 1913-1933, 1905-1933 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barnhill, John Basil. person
correspondedWith Binford, Jessie F. (Jessie Florence), 1876-1966 person
associatedWith Charles H. Kerr Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Collins, Charles. person
associatedWith Cook, Cassius V., 1879-1950. person
correspondedWith Cook, Frederick Albert, 1865-1940. person
associatedWith Dill Pickle Club (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith Goldman, Emma, 1869-1940. person
associatedWith Hobo College (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith House, Floyd Nelson, 1893-1975. person
associatedWith Inglis, Agnes, 1870-1952. person
associatedWith Minick, G. R. person
associatedWith Parsons, Lucy E. (Lucy Eldine), 1853-1942. person
associatedWith Stokes, Rose Pastor, 1879-1933 person
associatedWith Taylor, Graham, 1851-1938. person
associatedWith Weinberger, Harry, 1888- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Sexually transmitted diseases


Birth 1879

Death 1942





Ark ID: w6gq7dcz

SNAC ID: 56574619