Listen now (7 mins) | Margaret Sanger was the founder of the birth control movement in the United States and a lifelong advocate for women’s reproductive rights. Margaret Sanger was born on September 14, 1879, in Corning, New York. She was the sixth of eleven children born to Michael Hennessey Higgins and Anna Purcell Higgins. Her father was a stone mason, and her mother was a devout Roman Catholic Irishwoman. Sanger grew up in poverty. Her mother died at the age of 50, and Sanger understood that her mother’s death was a result of the physical toll she endured during eleven pregnancies. This shaped Sanger’s life path.