Dr. Alan Hart




Alan L. Hart (October 4, 1890 - July 1, 1962) was an American physician, radiologist, tuberculosis researcher, writer and novelist named Alberta Lucille Hart. He was in 1917-18 one of the first female to male (FTM) transsexuals to undergo hysterectomy and gonadectomy in the United States, and lived the rest of his life as a man. He pioneered the use of x-ray photography in tuberculosis detection, and helped implement TB screening programs that saved thousands of lives. Hart attended Albany College (now Lewis & Clark College), then transferred with classmate and romantic partner Eva Cushman to Stanford University for the 1911-1912 school year before going back to Albany. Hart graduated from Albany College in 1912, and in 1917 obtained a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Oregon. During this period, Hart also returned to Northern California to attend courses in the summer of 1916 at the Stanford University School of Medicine, then located in San Francisco. Hart was deeply unhappy that the medical degree was issued in his female name, limiting his opportunities to use it in any future life under a male name. College records show that at least one of the senior staff was sympathetic; his graduation records was indexed internally as "Hart, Lucille (aka Robert L.), M.D.". Nonetheless, Hart knew that if he presented himself as Robert, any prospective employer checking his credentials would discover the female name or find no records for him at all.

After graduation he worked for a short while (as a woman) at a Red Cross hospital in Philadelphia. Upon reaching adulthood Hart sought psychiatric counseling and radical surgery to live as a man. Hart's was the first documented FTM case in the United States though FTM sex change surgeries had been carried out earlier in Germany, including on one man, treated by German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, who had won the right to serve in the German military. The 1906-7 case of Karl M. Baer, born Martha Baer, had set a new precedent for sex change surgery by enlisting simultaneous support from psychiatric, legal, and surgical quarters. There was medical and legal precedent for transforming an otherwise healthy female body into a male one; Hart's approach to his own transition appears to have drawn on the Baer case. Hart's surgery was completed at the University of Oregon Medical School over the 1917-1918 winter vacation. He then legally changed his name, and in February 1918 married his first wife Inez Stark and moved with her to Gardiner, Oregon, to set up his own medical practice. The relocations, financial insecurity, and secrecy placed strain on Hart's marriage, and Inez left him in September 1923. She ordered him to have no further contact with her, and divorced him in 1925. The same year Hart married his second wife, Edna Ruddick; the union lasted until the end of Hart's life. In 1928 Hart obtained a masters degree in Radiology from the University of Pennsylvania; in 1929 appointed Director of Radiology at Tacoma General Hospital.

During the 1930s the couple moved to Idaho, where Hart worked during the 1930s and early 1940s; his work also took him to Washington, where he held a research fellowship. In 1948, after Hart obtained a Masters Degree in Public Health from Yale, the couple moved to Connecticut, The couple lived for the rest of their lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, where Edna became a professor at the University of Hartford. After the Second World War synthetic male hormones became available in the US, and for the first time Hart was able to grow a beard and shave. He also obtained a deeper voice, making him more confident and his public appearances easier. Alongside his medical practice and research, Hart pursued a second career as a successful novelist and short story writer. He died of heart failure on July 1, 1962.