Margaret Sanger

Activist / Political Figure

Born: 14 September 1879
Died: 6 September 1966
Birthplace: Corning, New York
Best known as: Co-founder of what became Planned Parenthood

Name at birth: Margaret Louise Higgins

Margaret Sanger, a nurse in the poor neighborhoods of New York City, founded the first birth control clinic in the U.S. in 1916. At the time it was illegal to publish and distribute information on contraception and the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. An advocate for birth control and women's rights, she founded the American Birth Control League in 1921. Later the organization became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Extra credit: According to the Margaret Sanger Papers Project, Sanger was born in 1879 rather than the often-listed date of 1883: "She provided inaccurate dates to contemporary biographical dictionaries, which is why so many sources have the 1883 date."

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