1890 - 1962
"Each of us must take into account the raw material which heredity dealt us at birth and the opportunities we have had along the way, and then work out for ourselves a sensible evaluation of our personalities and accomplishments."
- Dr. Alan L. Hart
As a child Alan L. Hart, who was assigned female at birth, was allowed to dress and live as a boy with both parents freely supporting his gender expression. Attending Albany College and then Stanford, he received his Ph.D. from The University of Oregon. In 1918 he married Inez Stark, using the name Robert Bamford. Later that year he had a hysterectomy, changed his name to Alan L. Hart, and started a medical practice. Eventually recognized by a classmate from medical school, the couple began a recurring pattern of relocation and job changes. The stress of the continual secrecy led to their divorce. In 1925 Alan remarried and from 1935-1942 wrote four novels (including Doctor Mallory and In the Lives of Men) set in the Pacific Northwest dealing with social issues within the medical field. Professionally Hart began to focus more on research – receiving his Masters Degree in Radiology in 1930 and another in Public Health in 1948. After years of trying to keep a low profile, in the late 1940s Hart began taking newly available synthetic male hormones which enabled him to grow a beard and lowered his voice sufficiently to give him the confidence to begin lecturing. He became a prominent figure in the study of Tuberculosis. Highly contagious, especially among close-quartered urban dwellers, with no available tests and no known treatment, Tuberculosis became one of the most virulent killers in U. S. History. Hart was one of the first to document how the disease was spread and how the isolation of carriers from the general public was key to slowing it - if it could be detected in its earliest stages. Speaking nationwide on Tuberculosis care, Hart dedicated all his time to fundraising for medical research and to help support economically challenged TB patients. In a move to end the stigma of the disease, Hart spearheaded a massive, nationwide campaign to use X-Ray Technology to screen people. This extremely successful detection effort led to earlier diagnoses to isolate carriers in publicly supported sanatoriums so they could recover before infecting others. All of the groundbreaking, visionary work Hart championed took place 20 years before the epidemiological test for tuberculosis was developed. As a result, it is thought that millions of lives were saved because of this one man's commitment. Dr. Hart lived his entire life with most people completely unaware he was Transgender. Even those who have studied his research are still mostly unaware of it. In spite of his unparalleled impact on history, he passed away in obscurity from complications due to heart disease in 1962.
Sexual Orientation Straight
Gender Identity Transgender
Faith Construct Protestant
Nations Affiliated United States
Era/Epoch Great Depression (1929-1939) Roaring Twenties (1920-1929)
Field(s) of Contribution
Commemorations & Honors
First Documented Man in the United States to Undergo Gender Confirmation Surgery
Alan L. and Edna Ruddick Hart Fund Created For Leukemia Research
Stanford University Exhibition on Hart's Life and Work (1994)
Lewis & Clark University Exhibition on Hart's Life and Work (2002)