Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Christopher Isherwood

Born to an economically privileged family in Cheshire, England, Isherwood was educated at Cambridge before being dismissed in 1925. Influenced by the novelist E.M. Forster, Isherwood devoted himself to writing and published his first novel All the Conspirators in 1928. Time spent in Berlin before Hitler came to power provided inspiration for some of his best known work, such as Goodbye to Berlin, upon which the long-running musical Cabaret is based. With his close friend, poet W.H. Auden, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1939, and settled in Los Angeles, where he continued to produce novels and write screenplays. Novels such as The World in the Evening (1954) and A Single Man (1964) show his unapologetic depictions of homosexuality and his characters’ struggles in an era of widespread homophobia. In the 1970s, he began publishing autobiographical works, such as Christopher and His Kind (1976) that were taken up by the burgeoning gay rights movement of the 1970s. For decades, Isherwood lived openly with his younger lover, the artist Don Bacardy, whom he met in 1953.