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date: 15 August 2020

Jorgensen, Christinelocked

(30 May 1926–03 May 1989)
  • Vern L. Bullough


Jorgensen, Christine (30 May 1926–03 May 1989), achieved fame by undergoing a surgical sex change, who was born George William Jorgensen, Jr., in New York City, the son of George William Jorgensen, a carpenter and building contractor, and Florence Davis Hansen. Born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx, where he attended local schools, Jorgensen was somewhat of a loner, particularly in high school, where he was sexually underdeveloped, less than five feet tall, and weighed less than 100 pounds. Underweight and probably underage, he was initially turned down for enlistment in the armed services after graduation. He worked briefly as a temporary photographer for Pathé News before being drafted into the U.S. Army in October 1945. After serving a little more than a year he was given an honorable discharge. Over the next several years he drifted from one failure to another. He tried unsuccessfully to get a studio job in Hollywood; failure led to his return to New York. For less than a semester, he attended Mohawk College in Utica, New York, on the G.I. Bill, after which he transferred to the Progressive School of Photography in New Haven, Connecticut. Still unemployed, in 1949 he entered the Manhattan Medical and Dental Assistant School, where he trained to become a lab technician....

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