Murray Hall

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The death of transgender Tammany Hall staple and bail bondsman Murray Hall in 1901 caused a minor scandal in the daily papers when his trans status was disclosed to the coroner by his physician (to the physician’s credit, he refused to comment publicly). Hall had died of untreated breast cancer after living as a man for more than a quarter century, including two marriages to women and dutiful ballot-casting at every opportunity. By all accounts he lived up to the political machine stereotype, cigars and whiskey included, which the Times used as a dig against the politicians who “flatter themselves on their cleverness” but who had been fooled by Hall’s behavior into believing he was a cis man.

The Smithsonian hosts a more complete biography of Hall here; a solid collection of cited excerpts from Hall’s news paper coverage is available here.

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