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Revolutionary War, Polish-American hero Pulaski may have been woman or intersex

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Posted at 7:45 PM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 20:45:04-04

Casimir Pulaski, the Revolutionary War hero Pulaski High School in Milwaukee is named after, may have been a woman or intersex.

According to NBC News, researchers recently used DNA to identify Pulaski's bones. Researchers are convinced the Polish-American was either a biological woman who lived as a man or was intersex, meaning a person whose body doesn’t fit the standard definitions of male or female.

“One of the ways that male and female skeletons are different is the pelvis,” Virginia Hutton Estabrook, an assistant professor of anthropology at Georgia Southern University, told NBC News. “In females, the pelvic cavity has a more oval shape. It’s less heart-shaped than in the male pelvis. Pulaski’s looked very female.”

The facial structure and jaw angle were also decidedly female, according to Estabrook.

The researchers were not the first team to suspect Pulaski may not have been male. When the Polish-American's skeleton was extracted from the Pulaski monument in Savannah, Ga., others noticed the delicate bone structure. Pulaski was also between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-4.

The findings will be presented in a new Smithsonian Channel documentary,"The General Was Female?" which airs Monday.