89 Facts About Harvey Milk


Harvey Bernard Milk was an American politician and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

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Harvey Milk moved to San Francisco in 1972 and opened a camera store.

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Harvey Milk was compelled to run for city supervisor in 1973, though he encountered resistance from the existing gay political establishment.

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Harvey Milk's campaign was compared to theater; he was brash, outspoken, animated, and outrageous, earning media attention and votes, although not enough to be elected.

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Harvey Milk was elected city supervisor in 1977 after San Francisco reorganized its election procedures to choose representatives from neighborhoods rather than through city-wide ballots.

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In 2002, Harvey Milk was called "the most famous and most significant openly LGBT official ever elected in the United States".

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Harvey Milk imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us.

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Harvey Milk was born in the New York City suburb of Woodmere, to William Harvey Milk and Minerva Karns.

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Harvey Milk was the younger son of Lithuanian Jewish parents and the grandson of Morris Milk, a department store owner who helped to organize the first synagogue in the area.

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Harvey Milk graduated from Bay Shore High School in Bay Shore, New York, in 1947 and attended New York State College for Teachers in Albany from 1947 to 1951, majoring in mathematics.

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Harvey Milk later transferred to Naval Station, San Diego to serve as a diving instructor.

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Campbell and Harvey Milk separated after almost six years; it would be his longest relationship.

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Harvey Milk tried to keep his early romantic life separate from his family and work.

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In 1962, Harvey Milk became involved with Craig Rodwell, who was 10 years younger.

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The relationship soon ended as Harvey Milk became alarmed at Rodwell's tendency to agitate the police.

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Harvey Milk was frequently promoted despite his tendency to offend the older members of the firm by ignoring their advice and flaunting his success.

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Harvey Milk started a romantic relationship with Jack Galen McKinley and recruited him to work on conservative Republican Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign.

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Harvey Milk was prone to depression and sometimes threatened to commit suicide if Milk did not show him enough attention.

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Harvey Milk had remained friendly with Campbell, who had entered the avant-garde art scene in Greenwich Village, but Harvey Milk did not understand why Campbell's despondency was sufficient cause to consider suicide as an option.

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Harvey Milk drifted from California to Texas to New York, without a steady job or plan.

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Harvey Milk met Scott Smith, 18 years his junior, and began another relationship.

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Harvey Milk became more interested in political and civic matters when he was faced with civic problems and policies he disliked.

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Harvey Milk was incredulous and traded shouts with the man about the rights of business owners; after he complained for weeks at state offices, the deposit was reduced to $30.

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Harvey Milk fumed about government priorities when a teacher came into his store to borrow a projector because the equipment in the schools did not function.

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Harvey Milk decided that the time had come to run for city supervisor.

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Harvey Milk said later, "I finally reached the point where I knew I had to become involved or shut up".

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Harvey Milk received an icy reception from the gay political establishment in San Francisco.

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Harvey Milk had drifted through life up to this point, but he found his vocation, according to journalist Frances FitzGerald, who called him a "born politician".

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Harvey Milk tried to do without money, support, or staff, and instead relied on his message of sound financial management, promoting individuals over large corporations and government.

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Harvey Milk supported the reorganization of supervisor elections from a citywide ballot to district ballots, which was intended to reduce the influence of money and give neighborhoods more control over their representatives in city government.

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Harvey Milk often repeated his philosophy that gays should buy from gay businesses.

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Harvey Milk organized the Castro Street Fair in 1974 to attract more customers to the area.

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Harvey Milk was starting to be taken seriously as a candidate and decided to run again for supervisor in 1975.

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Harvey Milk reconsidered his approach and cut his long hair, swore off marijuana, and vowed never to visit another gay bathhouse again.

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Harvey Milk's campaigning earned the support of the teamsters, firefighters, and construction unions.

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Harvey Milk favored support for small businesses and the growth of neighborhoods.

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Harvey Milk acknowledged Milk's influence in his election by visiting Milk's election night headquarters, thanking Milk personally, and offering him a position as a city commissioner.

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Harvey Milk came in seventh place in the election, only one position away from earning a supervisor seat.

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Harvey Milk took advantage of the opportunity to illustrate his cause that public perception of gay people would be improved if they came out of the closet.

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Harvey Milk considered seeking a position in the California State Assembly.

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Harvey Milk spent five weeks on the Board of Permit Appeals before Moscone was forced to fire him when he announced he would run for the California State Assembly.

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Harvey Milk's firing, and the backroom deal made between Moscone, the assembly speaker, and Agnos, fueled his campaign as he took on the identity of a political underdog.

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Harvey Milk railed that high officers in the city and state governments were against him.

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Harvey Milk complained that the prevailing gay political establishment, particularly the Alice B Toklas Memorial Democratic Club, were shutting him out; he referred to Jim Foster and Stokes as gay "Uncle Toms".

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Harvey Milk enthusiastically embraced a local independent weekly magazine's headline: "Harvey Milk vs The Machine".

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Harvey Milk's continuing campaign, run from the storefront of Castro Camera, was a study in disorganization.

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Harvey Milk himself was hyperactive and prone to fantastic outbursts of temper, only to recover quickly and shout excitedly about something else.

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Harvey Milk spent long hours registering voters and shaking hands at bus stops and movie theater lines.

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Harvey Milk took whatever opportunity came along to promote himself.

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Harvey Milk thoroughly enjoyed campaigning, and his success was evident.

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Harvey Milk distributed his campaign literature anywhere he could, including one of the most influential political groups in the city, the Peoples Temple.

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Harvey Milk was hoping to be elected governor of California in 1978, and was impressed with the voter turnout he saw in Miami.

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Stokes had been open about his homosexuality long before Harvey Milk had, and had experienced more severe treatment, once hospitalized and forced to endure electroshock therapy to 'cure' him.

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Harvey Milk was more expressive about the role of gay people and their issues in San Francisco politics.

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Harvey Milk used the same manic campaign tactics as in previous races: human billboards, hours of handshaking, and dozens of speeches calling on gay people to have hope.

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Harvey Milk had recently taken a new lover, a young man named Jack Lira, who was frequently drunk in public, and just as often escorted out of political events by Harvey Milk's aides.

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Since the race for the California State Assembly, Harvey Milk had been receiving increasingly violent death threats.

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Harvey Milk's swearing-in made national headlines, as he became the first non-incumbent openly gay man in the United States to win an election for public office.

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Harvey Milk became Moscone's closest ally on the Board of Supervisors.

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The biggest targets of Harvey Milk's ire were large corporations and real estate developers.

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Harvey Milk fumed when a parking garage was slated to take the place of homes near the downtown area, and tried to pass a commuter tax so office workers who lived outside the city and drove into work would have to pay for city services they used.

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Harvey Milk was often willing to vote against Feinstein and other more tenured members of the board.

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In one controversy early in his term, Harvey Milk agreed with fellow Supervisor Dan White, whose district was located two miles south of the Castro, that a mental health facility for troubled adolescents should not be placed there.

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Harvey Milk invited the press to Duboce Park to explain why it was necessary, and while cameras were rolling, stepped in the offending substance, seemingly by mistake.

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Harvey Milk's staffers knew he had been at the park for an hour before the press conference looking for the right place to walk in front of the cameras.

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Harvey Milk had grown tired of Lira's drinking and considered breaking up with him when Lira called a few weeks later and demanded Harvey Milk come home.

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One of the notes he left for Harvey Milk indicated he was upset about the Anita Bryant and John Briggs campaigns.

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Harvey Milk campaigned against the bill throughout the state as well, and swore that even if Briggs won California, he would not win San Francisco.

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The next day, the bodies of Moscone and Harvey Milk were brought to the City Hall rotunda where mourners paid their respects.

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Rumors about the murders of Moscone and Harvey Milk were fueled by the coincidence of Dan White's name and Jones's suicide preparations.

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Harvey Milk was to have received an award the next week for rescuing a woman and child from a 17-story burning building when he was a firefighter in 1977.

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Harvey Milk's life is an inspiration to all people committed to equal opportunity and an end to bigotry.

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When Harvey Milk's friends looked in his closet for a suit for his casket, they learned how much he had been affected by the recent decrease in his income as a supervisor.

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Supervisor Carol Ruth Silver testified on the last day of the trial that White and Harvey Milk were not friendly, yet she had contacted the prosecutor and insisted on testifying.

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Harvey Milk strongly believed that neighborhoods promoted unity and a small-town experience, and that the Castro should provide services to all its residents.

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Harvey Milk opposed the closing of an elementary school; even though most gay people in the Castro did not have children, Milk saw his neighborhood having the potential to welcome everyone.

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Harvey Milk told his aides to concentrate on fixing potholes and boasted that 50 new stop signs had been installed in District 5.

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Harvey Milk provided a means to integrate the disparate voices of his various constituencies.

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However, Harvey Milk's assassination has become entwined with his political efficacy, partly because he was killed at the zenith of his popularity.

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Harvey Milk's life was "a metaphor for the homosexual experience in America".

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Harvey Milk had died, and with him a great deal of the Castro's optimism, idealism, and ambition seemed to die as well.

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In New York City, Harvey Milk High School is a school program for at-risk youth that concentrates on the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students and operates out of the Hetrick Martin Institute.

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Harvey Milk's life has been the subject of a musical theater production; an eponymous opera; a cantata; a children's picture book; a French-language historical novel for young-adult readers; and the biopic Harvey Milk, released in 2008 after 15 years in the making.

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Harvey Milk was included in the "Time 100 Heroes and Icons of the 20th Century" as "a symbol of what gays can accomplish and the dangers they face in doing so".

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Harvey Milk believed that no sacrifice was too great a price to pay for the cause of human rights.

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Since 2003, the story of Harvey Milk has been featured in three exhibitions created by the GLBT Historical Society, a San Francisco–based museum, archives, and research center, to which the estate of Scott Smith donated Milk's personal belongings that were preserved after his death.

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Harvey Milk was inducted in 2012 into the Legacy Walk, an outdoor public display in Chicago which celebrates LGBT history and people.

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Harvey Milk was named one of the inaugural fifty American "pioneers, trailblazers, and heroes" inducted on the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor within the Stonewall National Monument in New York City's Stonewall Inn.

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USNS Harvey Milk, a United States Navy oiler launched on 6 November 2021, bears his name: it is the first U S Navy ship named for an openly gay leader.

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