Simpson, Ruth 1926–2008

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Simpson, Ruth 1926–2008


See index for CA sketch: Born March 15, 1926, in Cleveland, OH; died May 8, 2008, in Woodstock, NY. Publicist, social activist, lecturer, poet, and writer. In 1970 Simpson was a leader of the Daughters of Bilitis, considered to be the oldest lesbian rights organization in the United States. As time went on, her leadership took on an increasingly activist role. These were the early years of the feminist movement, and sexual orientation was a controversial topic. Simpson risked harassment at lectures and arrest at protest marches. She organized the creation of one of the first lesbian friendship centers in New York City as a safe and private place for lesbians to meet and socialize. In 1976 Simpson abandoned the city for the town of Woodstock, where she continued her work as a community activist, and published her book From the Closet to the Courts: The Lesbian Transition (1976). She also wrote poetry, which was collected in Patchwork Majority (1978). In private life Simpson worked through the 1950s and 1960s as a public relations executive with New York City firms such as Hill and Knowlton, J. Walter Thompson, and N.W. Ayer and Sons. After her move to Woodstock, north of the city, she occupied herself on the college lecture circuit and produced a local cable television talk show devoted to politics and minority issues.



Los Angeles Times, May 17, 2008, p. B9.

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Simpson, Ruth 1926–2008

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