Elizabeth Debbie Eden
|Born||August 19, 1946|
|Died||September 29, 1987(aged 41)|
Elizabeth Debbie Eden (born Ernest Aron; August 19, 1946 – September 29, 1987) was an American transsexual woman whose boyfriend John Wojtowicz attempted to rob a bank to pay for her sex reassignment surgery. The incident was made into the 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon. The character Leon Shermer, played by Chris Sarandon, is loosely based on Aron.
At the time of Wojtowicz's attempted robbery of a Chase Manhattan bank branch in Brooklyn, New York, on August 22, 1972, she was in a psychiatric institution, following a series of suicide attempts. Eden was not previously aware of his plans. After the failed heist, Wojtowicz was sentenced to 20 years, although he was released in April 1978; while imprisoned, he sold the movie rights to the story for $7,500 and subsequently was able to help finance Eden's sex reassignment surgery.
Eden, born in Ozone Park, Queens, died of AIDS-related pneumonia, aged 41, in Rochester, New York. Her personal papers and photographs were donated posthumously to the National Archive of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History at the Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Community Center on June 14, 1990.
- Elizabeth Eden, Transsexual Who Figured in 1975 Movie, New York Times, October 1, 1987
- Photos, L. (2003). "The Dog and the Last Real Man". Journal of Bisexuality 3 (2): 43–68. doi:10.1300/J159v03n02_04.
- Ernest Aron Became Elizabeth Eden - AIDS Kills Woman Behind 'Dog Day', Los Angeles Times, September 30, 1987
- Liz Eden (Ernest Aron) Papers via LGBT Community Center New York
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