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date: 26 September 2020

Guttmacher, Alanlocked

(19 May 1898–18 March 1974)
  • Shari Rudavsky


Guttmacher, Alan (19 May 1898–18 March 1974), physician and birth-control advocate, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Adolf Guttmacher, a leading Reform rabbi, and Laura Oppenheimer, a social worker. Alan had an identical twin, Manfred, with whom he was very close throughout his life, and a sister. His early years were happy ones in a household where Judaism set the guiding tone. Alan’s paternal great-grandfather had been the chief rabbi of Gratz, and when the family immigrated to the United States they maintained their faith. But Guttmacher renounced his faith after his father died suddenly when Alan was sixteen. Two years later, in 1915, the twins entered Johns Hopkins University. Alan originally planned to pursue a career in English or history, but a brief stint as a private in the army in 1918 changed his direction....

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