Pearl Hart (1890-1975), daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, grew up on Chicago’s West Side. Working as a stenographer, Hart had higher aspirations. She began taking evening classes at John Marshall Law School at the age of 22; two years later she gained admission to the bar. She was one of the first women to practice criminal law in Chicago and the first female attorney to serve as a public defender in the Morals Court, where she defended women for little or no fee. During her six decade career, Hart advocated for immigrants, defended leftists and was considered a foremost authority on juvenile legal issues. Known as the “Guardian Angel of Chicago’s Gay Community,” Hart represented clients who had been entrapped or harassed because of their sexual identity and she cofounded the Midwest chapter of an early gay rights organization, The Mattachine Society.
Why this stop? The Pink Line's Central Park stop is one of the L stations that serves Lawndale, the Chicago neighborhood where Hart was raised.
Pearl Hart was induced into the LGBT Hall of Fame (posthumously) in 1992. Learn more about Hart and others inducted in the past three decades.