Kohler served in the U. S. Navy in the South Pacific Theater during World War II, was the manager of the New York gay bathhouse, Club Baths, was among the first agents to represent non-famous Black artists, owner of the popular gay store The Loft on Christopher Street, and a lifelong activist.
He died of lung cancer on December 5, 2007, at the age of 81, in the Charles Street (West Village) apartment that he had lived in for 45 years.
Though Kohler is best known for his role at the Stonewall riots and his early involvement with the Gay Liberation Front, he was active with many movements and groups, including the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Black Panther Party, Act Up, Sex Panic, the Neutral Zone, the New York City AIDS Housing Network (NYCAHN), Irish Queers, Fed Up Queers, animal rights groups, and FIERCE!
Stonewall by Martin Duberman
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Plume; First Edition edition (May 1, 1994)
Amazon Kindle: Stonewall
A powerful firsthand account of the Stonewall riots and the birth of the modern gay rights movement
“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths—that all of us are created equal—is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall.” —President Obama, 2013 Inaugural Address
In the summer of 1969, the Stonewall Inn, one of the few places where gay men could gather, was a mafia-run unlicensed bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village. An unforeseen raid on the night of June 28 by federal agents ignited the now-famous five days of Stonewall riots that kindled the nation’s gay rights movement. Expertly weaving personal, eyewitness accounts of the riots, Martin Duberman’s Stonewall is an engrossing look at how six individuals, from distinctly different backgrounds, helped bring political and social awakening to the gay liberation movement.
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