Medical Pioneer, Social Reform Figure. She was a transgender person who made history as the first American man to have gender reassignment surgery. Born George William Jorgensen, Jr., she graduated from Christopher Columbus High School in Bronx, New York in May 1945, and shortly afterwards, was drafted into the United States Army for two years service. After leaving the Army, she began researching information on sexual imbalances and soon discovered that she could have a sex change operation in Scandinavia. In 1950, she secretly flew to Denmark, where she began gender-affirming surgeries. Two years later, she finally broke the news to her parents, writing "Nature made a mistake, which I have corrected, and I am now your daughter." She returned to New York City as Christine Jorgensen, on February 12, 1953, and received monumental coverage by the American Press. For a while she went on the lecture circuit, explaining transsexuality and trying to get the public to accept her. She made her living as a photographer, although her celebrity status made her rich, and she accepted many offers to go on the lecture circuit and make guest appearances on television. Despite living under the magnifying glass of the press, she kept her humor and tried to live the normal life of a woman. In 1967, she published her autobiography, "Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Autobiography." She died of bladder and lung cancer in 1989. Although she never married, she was engaged twice, once stating in an interview "I have been engaged twice and I've been deeply in love twice. I was never engaged to the men I was in love with, and I was never in love with the men I was engaged to." When she passed away, she was cremated, and her ashes scattered off Dana Point, California on June 9, 1989 by her two nieces and two of her closest friends, Stanton Bahr and Brenda Lana Smith.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
Gravesite Details Ashes scattered off Dana Point, California