Larry Kramer, Author & Outspoken AIDS Activist, Dies at 84

Larry Kramer, the noted writer whose antagonistic campaign for an all-out response to the 1980s AIDS crisis helped shift national US health policy has died in New York. He was 84. 

His husband, David Webster, said the cause was pneumonia. Mr. Kramer had weathered illness for much of his adult life. Among other things he had been infected with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, contracted liver disease and underwent a successful liver transplant.

Mr. Kramer was a founder of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the first service organization for H.I.V.-positive people, in 1981. His fellow directors effectively kicked him out a year later for his aggressive approach, and he returned the compliment by calling them “a sad organization of sissies.”

His most famous play, and later movie, was a part autobiographical account of battle against the indifference towards HIV/Aids.

Fellow LGBT and human rights activist Peter Tatchell who knew Larry Kramer 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.” 

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