A posthumous memoir from equal marriage hero Edie Windsor, A Wild and Precious Life, has been announced.

Windsor was the plaintiff in the 2013 US Supreme Court case that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that banned recognition of same-sex marriage.



The equal rights champion passed away in September 2017, but it has been announced that her memoir A Wild and Precious Life will be published posthumously.

Edie Windsor memoir A Wild and Precious Life will chart the equal rights hero’s life

Macmillan imprint St. Martin’s Press confirmed it would publish A Wild and Precious Life based on Windsor’s uncompleted manuscript and personal papers.

The blurb states: “In this memoir, which she began before her death in 2017 and which was completed by her co-writer, Edie recounts her childhood in Philadelphia, her realization that she was a lesbian, and her active social life in Greenwich Village’s underground gay scene.

“In the midst of dancing and breaking hearts all over town, Edie worked her way up to be one of the first female programmers for IBM, achieving their highest technical ranking, and was instrumental in developing their software.

“In the early 1960s Edie met Thea Spyer, an expat from a Dutch Jewish family that fled the Nazis, and a widely-respected psychologist.

“Their partnership lasted forty-six years, until Thea’s death in 2009.”

The book, completed by ghostwriter Josh Lyon, is set for release in October.

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How Edie Windsor helped fight for equal marriage

New Yorker Edie Windsor spent more than 40 years with her partner Thea Spyer, waiting most of their lives for legal recognition.

In 2007, after Spyer was diagnosed with a terminal illness, the pair travelled to Canada to marry.

However, even after Spyer ’s tragic death, the US government refused to recognise that their marriage even existed.

After being handed a massive tax bill for her wife’s estate – which a straight widower would be exempt from – the grieving Windsor filed a lawsuit challenging the Defence of Marriage Act, which banned federal recognition of same-sex unions.

The case rumbled through the courts, and in 2013 made it before the Supreme Court of the United States.

With the support of the Obama administration the court struck down DOMA, setting a precedent which would lead it to bring marriage equality to all 50 states just two years later.

US President Barack Obama holds hands with Edie Windsor after she introduced him during the Democratic National Committee LGBT Gala at Gotham Hall on June 17, 2014 in New York.
US President Barack Obama holds hands with Edie Windsor after she introduced him during the Democratic National Committee LGBT Gala at Gotham Hall on June 17, 2014 in New York. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty)

When she died in 2017, former President Barack Obama was among those to lead tributes to her incredible work.

He said: “America’s long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence, and fuelled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what’s right.

“Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor — and few made as big a difference to America.”




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