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John D'Emilio (born 1948) is a professor emeritus of history and of women's and gender studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1982, where his advisor was William Leuchtenburg. He was a Guggenheim fellow in 1998[1] and National Endowment for the Humanities fellow in 1997 and also served as Director of the Policy Institute at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force from 1995 to 1997.

John D'Emilio
Born1948 (age 70–71)
New York City, United States
OccupationWriter, educator
Notable awards

Honors and awardsEdit

D'Emilio was awarded the Stonewall Book Award in 1984[2] for his most widely cited book, Sexual politics, sexual communities, which is considered the definitive history of the U.S. homophile movement from 1940 to 1970. His biography of the civil-rights leader Bayard Rustin, Lost prophet: Bayard Rustin and the quest for peace and justice in America, won the Randy Shilts Award and the Stonewall Book Award for non-fiction in 2004.[3] He was the 2005 recipient of the Brudner Prize[4] at Yale University.

His and Estelle Freedman's book Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America was cited in Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, the 2003 American Supreme Court case overturning all remaining anti-sodomy laws.[5][6]

In 2005 D'Emilio was inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.[7]

He received the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from Publishing Triangle in 2013.

Jim Oleson, his partner since the early 1980s, died at their home in Chicago on April 4, 2015.[8]



  • Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin (The Free Press, 2003)
  • The World Turned: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and Culture (Duke University Press, 2002)
  • Making Trouble: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and the University (New York: Routledge, 1992)
  • Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983; 2nd edition, with a new preface and afterward, 1998)


  • With Estelle Freedman, Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America (New York: Harper and Row, 1988; 2nd expanded edition, University of Chicago Press, 1997; Third Edition, University of Chicago Press, 2012)


  • The Civil Rights Struggle: Leaders in Profile (New York: Facts-on-File, Inc., 1979), with an introduction
  • The Universities and the Gay Experience: A Conference Sponsored by the Women and Men of the Gay Academic Union (New York, 1974), with an introduction


  • With William Turner and Urvashi Vaid, Creating Change: Sexuality, Public Policy and Civil Rights (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000)

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation: results for d'emilio, accessed Dec 14, 2009
  2. ^ American Library Association: Award for 1984, accessed Dec. 14, 2009
  3. ^ American Library Association: Award for 2004, accessed Dec. 14, 2009
  4. ^ Yale University: James Robert Brudner '83 Memorial Prize and Lectures, accessed Dec 14, 2009
  5. ^ Hurewitz, D. (2004). "Sexuality scholarship as a foundation for change: Lawrence v. Texas and the impact of the historians' brief" (PDF). Health and Human Rights. 7 (2): 205–216. doi:10.2307/4065355. JSTOR 4065355. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-20. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ v. Texas Archived 2012-02-08 at the Wayback Machine, accessed Dec. 14, 2009
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-10-17. Retrieved 2015-06-28. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Nair, Yasmin (April 5, 2015). "Jim Oleson, partner of historian John D'Emilio, dies". Windy City Times. Retrieved April 9, 2015.

Further readingEdit

Archival sourcesEdit

External linksEdit