Edie Windsor: Hero of Marriage Equality

The online home of the Edie Windsor & Thea Spyer Foundation

Our new official website is here: with all new content coming soon including historical narratives about the iconic LGBTQ+ rights activists Edie Windsor and her wife Thea Spyer; about their lives together and Edie’s landmark Supreme Court victory for the cause of marriage equality after Thea’s death; and of course news about all of the current work of the Foundation and our partner organizations.

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Photo of Edie Windsor at IBM in front of a whiteboard showing a hand drawn flow chart

Lesbian. Icon.

Edith “Edie” Windsor (June 20, 1929 – September 12, 2017) was an American LGBTQ+ rights activist and a technology manager at IBM. She was the lead plaintiff in the 2013  Supreme Court of the United States case United States v. Windsor, which overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and was considered a landmark legal victory for the same-sex marriage movement in the United States. The Obama administration and federal agencies extended rights, privileges and benefits to married same-sex couples because of the decision. More at Wikipedia

Photo by Robert Maxwell/CPi Syndication for St. Martin’s Press

Get Involved:

The Edie Windsor Heart Project

The Edie Windsor Heart Project is a heart shaped memorial tribute to Edie Windsor composed of 220 smaller interlocking hearts, each with a personalized engraving. The platform will be used to conduct civil marriage ceremonies.

All monies raised will go toward the construction and maintenance of the Edie Windsor Heart in Southampton NY. Additional proceeds will be used to support The Edie Windsor Healthcare Center.

A Wild And Precious Life: A Memoir

Edie Windsor became internationally famous when she sued the US government, seeking federal recognition for her marriage to Thea Spyer, her partner of more than four decades. The Supreme Court ruled in Edie’s favor, a landmark victory that set the stage for full marriage equality in the US. Beloved by the LGBTQ community, Edie embraced her new role as an icon; she had already been living an extraordinary and groundbreaking life for decades.

In this memoir, which she began before passing away in 2017 and completed by her co-writer, Edie recounts her childhood in Philadelphia, her realization that she was a lesbian, and her active social life in Greenwich Village’s electrifying underground gay scene during the 1950s. Edie was also one of a select group of trailblazing women in computing, working her way up the ladder at IBM and achieving their highest technical ranking while developing software. In the early 1960s Edie met Thea, an expat from a Dutch Jewish family that fled the Nazis, and a widely respected clinical psychologist. Their partnership lasted forty-four years, until Thea died in 2009. Edie found love again, marrying Judith Kasen-Windsor in 2016.

A Wild and Precious Life is remarkable portrait of an iconic woman, gay life in New York in the second half of the twentieth century, and the rise of LGBT activism.

Sit down with Edie Windsor as she shares stories of her life in this thoroughly enjoyable memoir that reveals the civil rights icon as much more than the one-dimensional public version so many of our heroes become. By the time you turn the last page, you’ll love Edie for so much more than just taking down DOMA.”

– Jim Obergefell

Cover of the book A Wild And Precious Life
Image © St. Martin’s Press

Edie Windsor & Thea Spyer Foundation News

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