When Alfred Kinsey succumbed to heart failure in 1956, his hometown newspaper remembered him with a banner headline and article that dominated the front page. After 36 years at Indiana University, Kinsey was certainly a local celebrity, as well as a lightning rod for controversy across the nation.
Saturday, August 25, 1956
Sex Researcher A.C. Kinsey Dies
I.U. Zoology Professor World-Famed as Controversial Author of 2 Volumes
By Kenneth Goodall
Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, 62, world-renowned author of two controversial volumes on human sexual behavior, died today in Bloomington Hospital of a heart ailment and complications resulting from a summer cold.
Kinsey whose famous "Kinsey reports" on the personal habits of men and women were best-sellers in this country and widely distributed throughout the world, died at 8 a.m. at the local hospital where he was a patient for three days.
Kinsey's wife, Clara, was at his bedside when the gray-haired, blue-eyed scientist died beneath an oxygen tent where he was placed when his condition grew critical.
Ailing for the last six months he had been in and out of hospitals in Indianapolis and Bloomington and his research work had been sharply curtailed...
Recently Kinsey caught a cold. It developed into pneumonia. He had another heart seizure. He spent increasingly less time in his office at the Institute for Sex Research.
Kinsey's first book, Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, was published in 1948 and became a surprise bestseller. It was followed by a book on female sex behavior in 1953.
Since then, Kinsey continued wide travels and had outlined books on sex of men in prison, of Europeans, and of animals. However, the institute said no new work was close to completion when Kinsey died.
Kinsey recently went to South America to study sex symbolism in ancient pottery. His institute has one of the world's largest collections of pornographic material...
It was in 1920 that Dr. Kinsey came to Indiana University. He married Clara Bracken McMillen, who had been one of his early zoology students in 1921.
Besides his wife, who resides at 1320 E. First St., Kinsey is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Robert Reed, wife of a physician at Columbus, Ind,; Mrs. Warren Corning, Winnetka, Ill.; and a son Bruce, of Cleveland, Ohio. Another son died in infancy.
Though Kinsey's name was the only one nationally known among staff members in the sex institute, the two volumes the institute published credited four men with being authors of the studies, and Kinsey's name was no larger in the print than the others...