Barbara Anne (Charles) Macdonald, social worker, lesbian feminist activist, and author, was born on September 11, 1913, to
Emily Lister (Baker) Charles and Fred Henly Charles in Pomona, California. She grew up around La Habra, California. At the
age of fifteen, she left home permanently and began supporting herself as a domestic worker in Long Beach, California. In
1930 Macdonald married Elmo Davis; the marriage lasted five years. She attended Long Beach Junior College (1931-1932), Santa
Ana Junior College (1932-1937) where she was almost expelled for being a lesbian, and the University of California, Berkeley
(1938-1940). She paid for her education by working as a stunt parachute jumper about which she was the subject of numerous
articles in The Santa Ana Register, which called her "intrepid and daring." Macdonald married John Macdonald in 1941; the
marriage was very brief.
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