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

Magnus Hirschfeld

Magnus Hirschfeld was born on May 14, 1868, in Kolberg, Pomerania, Prussia (now Kolobrzeg, Poland). A German Jewish physician, Hirschfeld was an outspoken advocate for sexual minorities and became one of the most influential sexologists of the twentieth century. He was the founder of the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee (1897–1933), the first LGBT organization to advocate for homosexual and transgender rights, and the World League for Sexual Reform (1921–35). In 1919 he established the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft in Berlin, destroyed by the Nazis in 1933. Hirschfeld died in exile in Nice, France, on his sixty-seventh birthday, May 14, 1935. In recent years, researchers associated with the Magnus Hirschfeld Society in Berlin have been successful in locating previously lost records and artifacts relating to Hirschfeld’s life and work. To learn more about one of these discoveries, see here: Discovering a Trove of Magnus Hirschfeld Documents, 2009–2012, by Donald W. McLeod.