The Erickson Educational Foundation, a charitable venture of multi-millionaire Reed Erickson, was responsible for the lion’s share of progress made on transsexualism in the US through the 1960s and 1970s. Erickson, a trans man himself, funded research, gender clinics, and copious resource materials, along with the homophile organization ONE, Inc. (with which he later developed an adversarial relationship) and various New Age projects like dolphin communications systems. The money was amassed through a combination of a substantial inheritance, his prudent management of the family’s lead and construction material businesses, and investments in oil companies. What he didn’t spend on others went to his private estate in Mexico (dubbed the Love Joy Palace); his pet leopard; and his prodigious drug habit.
Erickson is also noteworthy for being the first person labeled as a woman to graduate Louisiana State University with a mechanical engineering degree, and for being under politicized FBI surveillance.