Larry Kramer, Gay Rights Pioneer During AIDS Crisis, Dies At 84

Larry Kramer. Photo credit: David Shankbone.

(WB) Larry Kramer, a gay rights pioneer who led the way as an activist and author during the AIDS crisis, has died at age 84, according to a report in the New York Times.

David Webster, Kramer’s spouse, was quoted in the Times report as saying the cause of death was pneumonia. Kramer had endured, who was openly HIV positive, had endured illness for much of his adult life.

At the height of the AIDS crisis, when thousands of gay men were dying of the disease before effective medication was developed, Kramer helped found ACT Up, an activist group that held “die-in” protests to bring attention to the epidemic.

Kramer in 1981 also help found the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, although his fellow directors kicked him out the next year. The New York City-based organization continues to assist the health needs for underserved communities in New York City.

An author renowned for his confrontational and controversial style, Kramer published in 1978 his novel “Faggots,” which shockingly drew on the pejorative to examine what he saw as shallow, promiscuous gay relationships in the 1970s.