Bob Kohler

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Bob Kohler
Born (1926-05-17)May 17, 1926
Died December 5, 2007(2007-12-05) (aged 81)
West Village, New York City
Cause of death lung cancer
Nationality United States
Known for LGBT rights activism

Robert Andrew "Bob" Kohler (17 May 1926 – 5 December 2007) was a gay rights pioneer. A native of Queens, New York, Kohler was a lifetime activist in New York City, who also fought for the rights of many other people and animals. He was at the Stonewall riots, and considered a father figure to many of the young trans people, such as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson, as well as to younger generations of activists.

Kohler served in the U. S. Navy in the South Pacific Theater during World War II, was the manager of the New York gay bathhouse, Club Baths, was among the first agents to represent non-famous Black artists, owner of the popular gay store The Loft on Christopher Street, and a lifelong activist.[1][2]

He died of lung cancer on December 5, 2007, at the age of 81, in the Charles Street (West Village) apartment that he had lived in for 45 years.[3]


Though Kohler is best known for his role at the Stonewall riots and his early involvement with the Gay Liberation Front, he was active with many movements and groups, including the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Black Panther Party, Act Up, Sex Panic, the Neutral Zone, the New York City AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN), Irish Queers, Fed Up Queers, animal rights groups, and FIERCE!


  1. ^ Lee, Trymaine. On West Village Streets, Tears for a Gay Activist New York Times (December 10, 2007). Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  2. ^ Clancy, Thomas. Bob Kohler, Gay Rights Pioneer, 1926-2007 Village Voice (December 6, 2007). Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  3. ^ Schindler, Paul Bob Kohler Dead at 81[permanent dead link] Gay City News (December 6, 2007). Retrieved July 27, 2011.


  • Carter, David (2004). Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked The Gay Revolution. St. Martin's Press, New York. ISBN 0-312-34269-1.
  • Duberman, Martin (1993). Stonewall New York, Dutton, New York. ISBN 0-452-27206-8.
  • Deitcher, David (1995). The Question of Equality: Lesbian and Gay Politics in America Since Stonewall. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. ISBN 0-684-80030-6.
  • Shepard, Hayduk and Benjamin, Ronald (2002). From ACT UP to the WTO: Urban Protest and Community Building in the Era of Globalization. Verso, London. ISBN 1-85984-356-5.
  • Sycamore, Mattilda Bernstein (2008). That's Revolting: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation. Soft Skull Press, Inc., New York City. ISBN 1-932360-56-5.

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