Harvey Milk

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Harvey Milk (May 22, 1930 - November 27, 1978) grew up on Long Island and served in the United States Navy during the Korean War. He moved to San Francisco in 1972 where he opened a camera store in the city's Castro district, living in an apartment upstairs with his partner Scott Smith. He became a popular community leader, founding the Castro Valley Association to promote small business concerns in the Castro, which contributed to rapid economic growth in the neighborhood.

After several unsuccessful attempts at elective office, Milk finally succeeded in 1977, winning a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors following an energetic, grassroots-driven campaign. He is often regarded as the first openly gay man to have won elective office in the United States, although this claim is under debate.

On the city's Board of Supervisors, Milk spearheaded an effort to pass city-wide gay rights ordinance. When this finally succeeded, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by former Supervisor Dan White, who had resigned days earlier in protest of the gay rights measure.


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