Leslie Feinberg was born in Kansas City, Missouri on September 1, 1949. At the age of 14, she began supporting herself by working in the display sign shop of a local department store. She eventually stopped attending high school, though she officially received her diploma. She was a pioneer in transgender and lesbian issues, workers' rights, and intersectionality. She was a journalist for the Workers World newspaper since 1974, was the editor of the Political Prisoners page of Workers World newspaper for 15 years, and became a managing editor in 1995. She wrote several books during her lifetime including Stone Butch Blues, Transgender Warriors: Making History, Trans Liberation: Beyond Pink or Blue, Drag King Dreams, and Rainbow Solidarity in Defense of Cuba. She received numerous awards including the Lambda Literary Award and the American Library Association Gay and Lesbian Book Award. She died from complications of Lyme disease and multiple tick-borne co-infections diseases on November 15, 2014.