W. Dorr Legg

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W. Dorr Legg (born William Dorr Lambert Legg 1904—July 26, 1994), was a landscape architect and one of the founders of the United States gay rights movement, then called the homophile movement.

The second child of Franc C. Dorr and Frank E. Legg, his older brother was Victor Eldred Legg and younger brother was Frank Evariste Legg, Jr.[1]

He trained as a landscape architect at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and from 1935 was professor of landscape architecture at Oregon State Agricultural College (now Oregon State University). He moved back to Michigan in the 1940s to care for his father and the family business.

In 1949 he moved to Los Angeles with his partner Merton Bird. In 1950 the couple founded Knights of the Clock, a support group for interracial gay couples. The couple actively joined the national Mattachine Society, but Legg later led a split to co-found ONE, Inc.. As publisher of the organization's journal, Legg sued the United States Postal Service to defend the right of its publications to be distributed through the US Mail. The case, One, Inc. v. Olesen (355 U.S. 371; 78 S. Ct. 364; 2 L. Ed. 2d 352; 1958) was pursued through appeals to a successful conclusion in 1958 before the United States Supreme Court. Legg traveled to Germany in the 1950s to recover the remains of the archives of the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft.

Legg died in Los Angeles on July 26, 1994 of natural causes.[2]

In 2011 the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association announced that Legg would be inducted into its hall of fame.[3]

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  1. ^ Dynes, Wayne R. (2002). Bullough, Vern L., ed. Before Stonewall : activists for gay and lesbian rights in historical context. New York: Harrington Park. p. 96. ISBN 1-56023-192-0. 
  2. ^ "Transitions". The Advocate. 1994-09-06. p. 21. Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  3. ^ Hartinger, Jeffrey (2011-08-01). "Journalists Honored for Work in Media, Activism". Advocate.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05.