Edith Windsor Biography
Edith Windsor Biography
Edith Windsor Biography
Edith Windsor Biography
Edith Windsor Biography
Edith Windsor Biography

Edith Windsor Biography

The Powerful LGBT Activists

Edith Windsor

Born On: June 20, 1929 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Know For: LGBT rights Movement Activist

Early life and education

Windsor was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James and Celia Schlain, a Russian Jewish immigrant family of modest means. She was the youngest of three children. During her childhood, her family suffered as a result of the Great Depression, and her father lost both his candy-and-ice-cream store and their home above it. In school, she at times experienced anti-Semitism. Throughout school, she dated boys her age, but said later she recalls having crushes on girls. Windsor received her bachelor's degree from Temple University in 1950. In 1955, she began pursuing a master's degree in mathematics, which she obtained from New York University in 1957. She then joined IBM, where she worked for the next sixteen years. During this time, she spent two semesters studying applied mathematics at Harvard University on an IBM fellowship.

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LGBT Activism

In June 1969, Windsor and Spyer returned from a vacation in Italy to discover the Stonewall Riots had begun the night before. In the following years, the couple publicly participated in LGBT marches and events. They also lent their Cadillac convertible to LGBT rights organizations.  Following her departure from IBM in 1975, she increased her involvement with LGBT organizations. She volunteered for the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the East End Gay Organization, the LGBT Community Center, 1994 Gay Games New York, and helped found Old Queers Acting Up, an improv group utilizing skits to address social justice issues. She served on the board of Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) from 1986 to 1988 and again from 2005 to 2007.

Windsor continued to be a public advocate for same-sex marriage in the years following United States v. Windsor. She helped Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Jerrold Nadler introduce the Respect for Marriage Act at a press conference in Washington, D.C. in 2011. She was also a prominent supporter of Israeli LGBT rights group A Wider Bridge. In 2013, Time magazine named Windsor as a finalist for their Person of the Year award, losing out only to Pope Francis. Later in life, she became an ardent supporter of New York City's largest LGBTQ+ band, the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps, calling them "her band". They performed a concert called The Roaring Music of Women: A Tribute to the Iconic Edie Windsor in her honor on Saturday, April 7, 2018.

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