Stonewall riots historian David Carter has passed away at the age of 67, Washington Blade reports.
Carter is the author of the 2004 book “Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution,” which is considered to be the definitive book on the event. Carter was also a major part of the effort to turn the Stonewall Inn area into a national monument and historic landmark. His book became the basis for the Peabody Award-winning documentary “Stonewall Uprising.”
The historian, who was gay, reportedly died at home in his apartment in Greenwich Village, New York. Doctors believe that he had a heart attack, according to his brother, Bill Carter.
The Stonewall riots are one of the most pivotal events in the history of LGBTQ+ civil rights.
“The Stonewall uprising is historic for one reason,” Carter said in a 2019 presentation to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. “It inspired the creation of a new phase of the movement for the rights of gay men and lesbians and later for bisexuals and the transgendered, and this new phase, the gay liberation movement, created a mass movement, making most of the gains over the past five decades possible.”
Carter had been involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy since the 1970s, when he was graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was born and raised in Southeast Georgia.
“In his LGBT history work, he was painstakingly methodical in assembling the facts, passionate about following them wherever they led to make sure that our history is recorded accurately,” said his longtime friend, Eric Danzer.
In addition to the Stonewall book, Carter wrote two young adult books on gay history and a collection of interviews with Allen Ginsburg. At the time of his death, he was working on a biography of Frank Kameny, a gay rights pioneer and one of the few pre-Stonewall activists “who declared homosexuals to be a minority group deserving of full civil rights,” per the Blade. It remains unclear whether the book will still be published after his death.