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Faith Seidenberg, Who Earned Women the Right to Enter McSorley's, Dies at 91

A civil rights lawyer, Seidenberg is best remembered for her lawsuit against McSorley's.


Legendary ale house McSorley's was one of the last all-male hold-outs in New York City, until Faith Seidenberg sued them for entrance and won in 1970. Seidenberg has passed away at 91, reports the Times.

The crusade story goes like this: One night in January 1969, Seidenberg entered the pub and demanded service. Other patrons and the staff jeered. She was escorted to the door and left. She and the friend who was with here, Karen Decrow, then sued the bar for discrimination. A year and a half later, a federal judge ruled in their favor, and the mayor at the time, John V. Lindsay signed legislation banning discrimination based on sex in public places. McSorley's welcomed its first female patron, but it wasn't Seidenberg. She never returned.

Seidenberg went on to advocate for civil liberties as a lawyer, but according to her daughter Lisa, the McSorley's incident defined her. "She had many, many cases that changed the law, but she knew she would be remembered for liberating a seedy bar."

McSorley's Old Ale House

15 East 7th Street, Manhattan, NY 10003 (212) 473-9148 Visit Website

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