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Lillian Wald

AKA Lillian D. Wald

Born: 10-Mar-1867
Birthplace: Cincinnati, OH
Died: 1-Sep-1940
Location of death: Westport, CT
Cause of death: Cerebral Hemorrhage
Remains: Cremated, Mount Hope Cemetery, Rochester, NY

Gender: Female
Religion: Protestant
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Lesbian
Occupation: Activist
Party Affiliation: Democratic

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Henry Street Settlement

Lillian Wald was an urban Florence Nightingale, who founded New York's Henry Street Settlement. As a medical student in 1893, she was assigned to teach home nursing in New York City's crowded East Side, and in her memoir she described her arrival "over broken roadways... past evil-smelling, uncovered garbage cans... across a court where open and unscreened closets [toilets] were promiscuously used by men and women." Almost immediately, she decided that she would leave medical school and make nursing her life's work. With another student, Mary Brewster, Wald rented a tenement flat and established the Henry Street Visiting Nurse Service, offering medical services to patients who could never afford a physician, and charging fees only to those deemed able to pay.

In 1895, with funding from Jacob Schiff, the Henry Street Settlement expanded to new, larger quarters, and within a few years the organization was providing health care for thousands of New Yorkers. Over subsequent decades Wald's Henry Street Settlement provided the city's first public school nurses and summer camps for disadvantaged children, and after Ms Wald's death, a credit union and psychiatric clinic. She was also an outspoken pacifist, an advocate for improvements to slum housing and the abolition of child labor, and a founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Father: Max D. Wald (optician)
Mother: Minnie Schwartz Wald
Sister: Julia Wald

    High School: Miss Cruttenden's Boarding and Day School for Young Ladies, Rochester, NY (1883)
    Medical School: New York Hospital School of Nursing (1891)
    Medical School: Women's Medical College (attended, 1891-93)

    Henry Street Settlement Founder & Director (1893-1930)
    American Friends Service Committee
    American Red Cross
    American Union Against Militarism Cofounder (1914)
    NAACP Cofounder (1919)
    Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
    National Women's Hall of Fame 1993
    Converted to Christianity Social Gospel Movement (1893)
    Traveled to the USSR 1924
    German Ancestry Paternal
    Polish Ancestry Maternal
    Jewish Ancestry

Author of books:
The House on Henry Street (1911)
Windows on Henry Street (1934)

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