March 5th People

March 5th

03-05-1885 – 08-10-1959 Dr. Louise Pearce – Born in New York City, New York. She was the first American woman pathologist who took a research position at the Rockefeller Institute. She helped develop a treatment for African sleeping sickness. Sleeping sickness was a fatal epidemic which had devastated areas of Africa, killing two-thirds of the population of Uganda between 1900 and 1906 alone. Pearce, along with Walter Abraham Jacobs, Michael Heidelberger, and Wade Hampton Brown, developed drugs for its treatment. In 1920, Pearce, risked her life and traveled to the Belgian Congo where she developed and carried out a drug testing program on humans. The drug, tryparsamide, proved successful in combating the epidemic, curing 80% of cases. For her work, Pearce received the Order of the Crown of Belgium and in 1953, Belgium further honored her and her co-workers appointing them Officers of the Royal Order of the Lion. Pearce also successfully developed treatment for syphilis and because of her studies of tumors, along with Brown, the Brown-Pearce tumor became standard test material in cancer laboratories. For many years, Pearce lived with physician Sara Josephine Baker and author I. A. R. Wylie. All were members of Heterodoxy, a feminist biweekly luncheon discussion club, of which many members were lesbian or bisexual. After Baker’s death in 1945, Pearce and Wylie continued living together until both died in 1959. Wylie and Pearce are buried alongside each other at the Trevenna Farm’s family cemetery, Skillman, New Jersey.

03-05-1966 – 08-24-2017 Julie “JD” Disalvatore – Born in Plymouth, Massachusetts. She was an American LGBT film and television producer/director, gay rights activist, and animal rights activist. Her film credits include the award winning Shelter (2007), Eating Out (2006), A Marine Story (2010), and Elena Undone (2010). Disalvatore also wrote about LGBT films for Curve magazine,, and other LGBT outlets. She also had a daily blog on Gay and Lesbian entertainment. At the age of 51, she died of breast cancer.

03-05-1942 Laurie Toby Edison – Born in New York City, New York. She is an American portrait photographer that is active in feminist art, LGBT rights, and fat acceptance movements. In 1994, she published Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes and in 2004 published Familiar Men: A Book of Nudes. Her third book was completed in 2007, titled Women of Japan, showed clothed portraits of women in Japan from many Japanese cultures and backgrounds. Her photographs have been exhibited around the world. Edison has been married twice and has a daughter from each marriage. She identifies as being bisexual.

03-05-1931 – 12-29-1987 Sheldon Andelson – Place of birth unknown. He was the first openly gay University of California Regent. Andelson was appointed to the Board of Regents by Governor Jerry Brown in 1980, and served until 1986. He was also a fund-raiser for Senator Edward M. Kennedy and Walter Mondale. He was instrumental in the appointment of one of the first openly gay judges in California, Rand Schrader. At Andelson’s urging, California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Schrader to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1980. Andelson was also a member of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (the oldest Jewish service organization in the world), a founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art, director of the ACLU Foundation, and served on the 1984 Olympic Games committee. On December 29, 1987, he died of complications related to AIDS.

03-05-1966 Michael Irvin – Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights. He is a former NFL wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys. Irvin is also a former broadcaster for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown and currently an analyst for NFL Network. In 2007, he was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 2011, Irvin, in an article for Out magazine, discussed his homosexual older brother, who died of stomach cancer in 2006. He claimed his initial feelings of homophobia in relation to his brother led to womanizing during his playing days, but eventual acceptance and feelings of love toward his older brother initiated his understanding for people with difficulty sharing their circumstances. He has now become a passionate supporter of gay athletes and equal rights for same-sex couples.

03-05-1974 Matt Lucas – Born in Paddington, London, England. He is an English comedian, screenwriter, singer, and actor. He is best known for his work with David Williams in the television show Little Britain. In May, 2007, he placed seventh in the list of the UK’s 100 most influential gay men and women, by British newspaper The Independent. Lucas launched a new comedy series called Pompidou for BBC Two. The show began March 1, 2015.

03-05-1993 Letitia de Jong – Born in Veenwouden, The Netherlands. She is a Dutch long-distance skater specializing in sprint races. She was a member of the Dutch team that won Gold at the European Championships Distances. On April 4, 2017, it became public knowledge that she was in a relationship with Dutch skater Ireen Wüst. 

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