This collection contains photographs, correspondence, awards, clippings, ephemera and memorabilia from lesbian activist, community
organizer and social worker, Ester F. Bentley.
Ester Bentley was a life long advocate of womens and lesbian and gay rights. Bentley was born in Louisville, Kentucky on October
24, 1915. She completed her Bachelor's of Science at Catherine Spalding College in 1941. During the war years, Bentley worked
as the Director of U.S.O. in programs for war workers and their families. Bentley went on to complete her Master's in Social
Work at the National Catholic School of Social Service at Catholic University of America in 1949. Following the completion
of her degree, Bentley became the Director of the Kentucky Society for Crippled Children. Bentley moved to California in the
1960s and became the District Director for Community Planning and Development in San Bernardino, California. Bentley also
served as the Executive Director of the Girl Scout Council in Santa Ana, California. In the 1960s, Bentley acquired her Real
Estate License from the Scadron Business College in San Bernardino, California and continued her work in community organizing
as a consultant. From 1966 to 1974, Bentley served as a field consultant and supervised students in the UCLA School of Social
Welfare. After retiring, Bentley became very involved in both Catholic ministries and gay and lesbian organizations. Bentley
was also a founding member of the Coalition of Older Lesbians (COOL). Ester Bentley died on January 20, 2004, at the age of
88 in Los Angeles, California.
8.2 linear feet
(14 boxes, 1 record carton, 2 flat boxes and 1 media box)
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are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright
and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
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