Edie Windsor on TIME's Top Five

Edie Windsor, the plaintiff who toppled the Defense of Marriage Act before the Supreme Court, was named the number three runner up for Person of the Year by TIME magazine; she’s also the only woman on the list of five. (Number one was Pope Francis, and number two was NSA leaker Edward Snowden.)

The Forward also named Windsor in its top five list on the Forward 50, our annual ranking of people who have made the biggest difference in the American Jewish story. (We placed her at number two, after Newtown mother Veronique Pozner.)

TIME reporter Eliza Gray wrote a moving profile of Windsor (make sure to watch the gorgeous video that accompanies it), which fills in some details about her Jewish background, including a surprising anecdote about how her mother taught her to counter anti-Semitism:

Windsor ended up marrying a man, and kept his last name after she divorced him less than a year after their wedding. She met her future wife, Thea Spyer, at a restaurant in 1963. Spyer proposed in 1967; four decades later, the two finally married in Toronto. When Spyer died in 2009, Windsor was saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax on Spyer’s estate because of DOMA. That injustice formed the basis for Windsor’s lawsuit against the federal government to ensure that gay and lesbian couples receive the same benefits as married heterosexual couples. The rest, as they say, is history.

Watch our interview with Roberta Kaplan, Windsor’s lawyer, for the Forward 50:

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Edie Windsor on TIME's Top Five

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