Luther Christman, a white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, heterosexual family man, had none of the attributes normally associated with discrimination. Yet he encountered gender discrimination because he was a man in a woman's profession. He was called a pervert when requesting maternity experience. He was refused admission to the Army Nurse Corps in World War II, and entry to two university nursing programs simply because he was a man.
Undeterred, Christman gained qualifications in psychology and his research lead to high level appointments in university nursing facilities. A capable administrator, he became the first male to hold the joint appointments of dean of nursing and hospital director of nursing. He developed the Rush Model of nursing that gained him an international reputation as a nursing leader. Despite these achievements he hit a glass ceiling in the middle of his career.
The biography describes Christman's strategic plans for the development of the nursing profession, which entailed a critique of its organization, policies, practices, education and female domination that challenged nursing leaders, physicians and hospital leaders alike.
But in the end, the profession that put so many barriers in his path deemed him a 'Living Legend'. As a retired, sprightly 90 year-old, he reviews books for the American Journal of Nursing, is president of the American Assembly for Men in Nursing and is still a provocative advocate for his vision of nursing.