One of the AIDS’ crises most outspoken advocates, Larry Kramer has died at the age of 84, his husband has confirmed.
When the AIDS pandemic hit, the gay community was lucky to have Larry Kramer, whose editorials and plays (particularly The Normal Heart) demanded that the government take action and that gay men take responsibility for their health.
Larry died from pneumonia, at his home in Manhattan, New York, his David Webster said.
A fascinating author and a rabble-rouser in the best sense, Kramer continues to be a vital and often infuriating presence. Kramer co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), in 1981, which has become the world’s largest private organization to raise funds for and provide services to people stricken with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
However, due to his confrontational style he resigned from GMHC and helped to set up ACT UP, a more direct action alternative.
The whole traumatic period was dramatised by Kramer in his award-winning play – The Normal Heart, which was turned into a film in 2014.
“Missed and remembered for decades to come”
Speaking about Kramer, LGBT+ advocate, Peter Tatchell said,
“Larry Kramer was an inspiring playwright, author and pioneering campaigner on LGBT+ and HIV issues. He helped galvanise the formation of the AIDS activist group ACT UP, which successfully challenged US government inaction and forced pharmaceutical companies to speed their efforts to research and trial treatments. He also helped establish the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, which did so much to support people living with HIV/Aids.
“ACT UP’s efforts helped save the lives of millions of people worldwide and Larry was part of that achievement. His often angry tirades against President Reagan, the New York Times, drug corporations and the medical establishment were searing and effective. I counted him as a friend and comrade. He will be missed and remembered for decades to come.”