Harvey Bernard Milk was an American politician and the first openly gay elected official in the history of California. He was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk sponsored a bill banning discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and employment on the basis of sexual orientation. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a disgruntled city supervisor.
About Harvey Milk in brief
Harvey Bernard Milk was an American politician and the first openly gay elected official in the history of California. He was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. Milk sponsored a bill banning discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and employment on the basis of sexual orientation. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a disgruntled city supervisor. Milk was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Milk’s early career was marked by frequent changes; in later years he would take delight in talking about his metamorphosis from a middle-class Jewish boy to a gay activist. In 2002, Milk was called \”the most famous and most significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the U.S.\”. He 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. In his teens, he knew that he had homosexual tendencies but kept it a closely guarded secret. In 1956, he met Joe Campbell, at the Jacob Riis Park beach, a popular location for gay men in Queens. In 1962, he became involved with Craig Rodwell, who was 10 years younger than Milk. Though he was uncomfortable with Rodwell’s involvement with the New York Riachine Society, Milk courted him every morning with a call and sending him romantic notes. Once again in New York, he thought of moving to Miami to marry a lesbian friend to not be in the way of the other.
In 1972, Milk moved 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. In 1977, Milk’s theatrical campaigns earned him increasing popularity, and in 1977 he won a seat as a city Supervisor. Despite his short career in politics, Milk became an icon in San Francisco and a martyr in the gay community. After graduation, Milk joined the United States Navy during the Korean War. He served aboard the submarine rescue ship USS Kittiwake as a diving officer. In 1955, he was discharged from the Navy at the rank of lieutenant, junior grade. He later transferred to Naval Station, San Diego to serve as an diving instructor. In 1957, he married Joe Campbell. After almost six years, he and Campbell separated after it was revealed that Campbell was a lesbian. Milk tried to keep his longest relationship separate from his job as an actuarial statistician at an insurance firm. He would be his longest romantic life separate his family and work; he would be a statistician from his longest girlfriend. In 1958, he moved to Dallas, Texas, but they were unhappy there and moved back to New York. In 1959, he began teaching at George W. Hewlett High School on Long Island. In 1960, Milk married Craig Rod well, who had been 10 years older than him.