Christine Jorgensen, who told the world in 1952 she was a woman trapped in a man's body and shocked it by becoming the first person to undergo a sex change, is dead. She was 62.

Jorgensen died of cancer at San Clemente Hospital on Wednesday, two days after she was admitted, said hospital spokeswoman Jami Piearson."She was a wonderful, understanding woman who loved everyone," said actress Dorothy Lamour, who also was a friend of Jorgensen. "She gave out so much love and was a God-loving woman; one of the finest women I have ever met," Lamour saidin a statement.

Jorgensen, a heavy smoker, said in an interview last year that when she learned she had cancer she told herself:

" `This is cancer.' I wanted to be upfront and not try to deny it. It's like anything else. I still joke and carry on. I see some of the patients who just shuffle in and out, and you just know that they aren't going to make it."

She voiced no regrets about the sex change and the ensuing international publicity.