Fred Cherry

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Fred Cherry (15 April 1926 – 30 July 2003) was an American activist for greater rights for janes and johns (clients of prostitutes). He gained some measure of fame as self-styled "elector of homophobia" in his fight against (in his own words) "the Organized Homosexual Conspiracy of America", who he said opposed his own fight to get his freedom to patronize prostitutes recognized as being a matter of civil rights.

In 1985, Cherry, and Margo St. James, filed a lawsuit against Ed Koch, then mayor of New York City, seeking to overturn New York's laws banning prostitution on the grounds that Cherry's disability would make it impossible for him to find sexual companionship other than prostitutes, thereby violating the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The lawsuit was dismissed.

Cherry helped make mathematical history when he published, in collaboration with such distinguished combinatorialists as E.T. Parker and Walter Wallis, a construction of orthogonal pairs of doubly diagonal Latin squares of order 10, thus completing the proof that such pairs exist for all orders other than 2,3 and 6. In his words: "this accomplishment gave me a tremendous boost in my self-esteem. Before I had done this, I used to think of myself as a rich bum. Now, I can truly call myself a mathematician, even though I only have a bachelor's degree in mathematics."