Deirdre McCloskey – Economist.

Every week day in June, EQUAL! is posting information on a LGBT icon.

Today’s LGBT Awareness Month icon is Deirdre McCloskey – Economist.

“We make ourselves, which is our freedom as human beings.”

Deirdre McCloskey is an internationally renowned economist and economic historian. She is the author of a memoir recounting her transition from male to female.

McCloskey was born Donald, the son of a Harvard professor and a poet. She remembers wanting to be female as early as 11 years old. She writes, “As Donald aged 13 or 14 waited for sleep in his bed, he would fantasize about two things. Please, God, please … Tomorrow when I wake up: I won’t stutter … And I’ll be a girl.”

Donald McCloskey was co-captain of his high school football team. In 1964, he earned a degree in economics from Harvard. The next year, he married. He and his wife were together for 30 years and have two children.

In 1970, McCloskey received a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard. He won the prestigious David A. Wells Prize for best dissertation. He was hired by the University of Chicago, where he worked as a professor of economics and history. In 1980, McCloskey accepted a professorship at the University of Iowa and served as the chair of the Economics Department from 1984 to 1999.

After cross-dressing privately, and then more publicly, for nearly four decades, McCloskey began transitioning in 1995. For over two years, “Dee”—as McCloskey called herself during the transition—underwent numerous operations, including sexual reassignment surgery, emerging finally as Deirdre.McCloskey wrote “Crossing, A Memoir” (1999), her story of crossing from a 52-year-old man to a 55-year-old woman. The New York Times named the memoir a “Notable Book of the Year.”

McCloskey has written 14 books and published more than 350 articles on economic theory and history, philosophy, rhetoric, feminism, ethics, and law. Since 2000, she has been a Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English and Communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She holds professorships at Academia Vitae in the Netherlands and at the University of the Free State in South Africa.

This information is sourced from

(photo by Julian Anderson)

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