Homo History 101

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History was never as straight as we are told. Recording our history means reporting the truth. Photo Credit: CNN

Harris Llewellyn Wofford, Jr. (born April 9, 1926) is an American attorney and Democratic Party politician who represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate from 1991 to 1995.

After serving four years in the Senate, Mr. Wofford was narrowly defeated by Republican Rick Santorum. A noted advocate of national service and volunteering, Wofford was also the fifth president of Bryn Mawr College from 1970 to 1978, served as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party in 1986, as Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry in the cabinet of Governor Robert P. Casey from 1987 to 1991 and was a surrogate for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. He introduced Obama in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center before Obama's speech on race in America, A More Perfect Union.

He was a key figure in the U.S. civil rights movement and was part of JFK’s presidential campaign team. Wofford was instrumental in the formation of the Peace Corps and served as the Peace Corps' special representative to Africa and director of operations in Ethiopia.

He was appointed associate director of the Peace Corps in 1964 and held that position until 1966. He also participated in the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965. Wofford's book Of Kennedys and Kings: Making Sense of the Sixties details his years in the civil rights movement and the creation of the Peace Corps.

Now in his 90s he married a man 50 years his junior more than two decades after his wife’s death. He met Matthew Charlton on a beach when Wofford was 75 years old.

“At age 90, I am lucky to be in an era where the Supreme Court has strengthened what President Obama calls ‘the dignity of marriage’” he said in a recent interview.

Mr. Wofford said it took three years to tell his three children about his relationship with Charlton. “Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall- straight, gay or in between. I don’t categorize myself on the gender of those I love.” Wofford went public with his impending marriage in the essay “Finding Love Again, With a Man” published in Sunday’s New York Times.

Since 2001, Wofford has served on the boards of several charities and service organizations, including America's Promise, Youth Service America and the Points of Light Foundation. He was a trustee to the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change. Between 2007 and 2009, Wofford was the national spokesperson for Experience Wave, a national campaign that sought to advance state and federal policies to make it easier for mid-life and older adults to stay engaged in work and community life.