Harvey Milk


Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) was an American politician who became the first openly gay man to be selected to public office in California, when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Politics and gay activism were not his early interests; he was not open about his homosexuality and did not join in civic matters until around age 40, after his experiences in the counterculture of the 1960s.

Milk moved from New York City to settle in San Francisco in 1972 among a migration of gay men to the Castro District. He took advantage of the rising political and economic power of the neighborhood to promote his interests, and ran unsuccessfully for political office three times. His theatrical campaigns earned him growing popularity, and Milk won a seat as a city supervisor in 1977, part of the broader social changes the city was experiencing.

Milk served 11 months in office and was liable for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance for the city. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor who had freshly resigned but wanted his job back. Milk's election was made possible by and was a key part of a shift in San Francisco politics. The assassinations and the ensuing events were the result of enduring ideological conflicts in the city.

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