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Harvey Milk
Harvey Milk at Gay Pride San Jose, June 1978 (cropped).jpg
Milk in 1978
Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
In office
January 8, 1978 – November 27, 1978
Preceded by District created
Succeeded by Harry Britt
Constituency 5th district
Personal details
Harvey Bernard Milk

(1930-05-22)May 22, 1930
Woodmere, New York, U.S.
Died November 27, 1978(1978-11-27) (aged 48)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Cause of death Assassination
Political party Democratic (1972–78)
Other political
Republican (before 1972)
Alma mater State University of New York at Albany
Profession Politician, business owner
Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom (ribbon).png Presidential Medal of Freedom 2009 (posthumously)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Navy
Years of service 1951–1955
Rank US-O2 insignia.svg Lieutenant, junior grade
Unit USS Kittiwake (ASR-13)

Harvey Bernard Milk (May 22, 1930 – November 27, 1978) was an American politician and a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. He did not focus on homosexuality or gay activism at first, but did later on in his career.

Milk moved from New York City to live in San Francisco in 1972. This was a time when lots of gay men moved to live in the Castro District of San Francisco. Milk became a city supervisor in 1977.

Milk served 11 months in office and helped gay rights in the city. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated (murdered) by Dan White in San Francisco. White was another city supervisor who had recently resigned but wanted his job back.

Milk became an icon in San Francisco and "a martyr for gay rights", according to University of San Francisco professor Peter Novak. In 2002, Milk was called "the most famous and most significantly open LGBT official ever elected in the United States". Anne Kronenberg, his final campaign manager, wrote of him: "What set Harvey apart from you or me was that he was a visionary. He imagined a righteous world inside his head and then he set about to create it for real, for all of us." Milk was posthumously given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on August 12, 2009.

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