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Larry Kramer death: Playwright and AIDS activist dead at 84 after a bout of pneumonia

Larry Kramer, gay rights activist
Larry Kramer, an award-winning playwright, and gay rights activist, has died at 84. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/Globe-Photos

Larry Kramer, an award-winning playwright, gay and AIDS rights activist, has died at 84. Kramer passed away on Wednesday morning after suffering a bout of pneumonia, his partner David Webster told The New York Times.

Kramer had previously been hospitalized for complications that developed following a liver transplant.

Tributes pour in on Twitter

People have been paying tribute on Twitter since the news of Kramer’s death broke.

Writers who posted tributes include the director, producer, and transgender activist Janet Mock.

Journalist Scott Bixby and the former The New York Times senior editor/ op-ed columnist Frank Rich also posted tributes on Twitter.

Larry Kramer bio

Kramer was a playwright, screenwriter, and gay rights activist born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in June 1935.

He attended Yale and served in the Army before starting his career in the entertainment industry as a screenwriter.

He won an Oscar nomination in 1970 for writing and producing a 1969 film adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love. He was also known for writing the screenplay of the musical film Lost Horizon, released by Columbia Pictures in 1973.

Kramer was best known for his work as a gay rights activist. He advocated for members of the LGBTQ community during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

He wrote the autobiographical play, The Normal Heart, which debuted off-Broadway at The Public Theater in 1985, and made its Broadway debut in 2011.

The Normal Heart explored the struggles of the protagonist Ned Weeks to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS during the disease epidemic that ravaged New York City’s LGBTQ community in the 1980s.

Kramer was also known for The Destiny of Me, his 1992 play, which premiered off-Broadway in 1992 and became a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

The Destiny of Me continued the story of  Ned Weeks, his character from The Normal Heart. In The Destiny of Me, Weeks undergoes experiment AIDS treatment at the National Institutes of Health.

In 2014, American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy adapted The Normal Heart for a movie that aired on HBO. It starred Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, and Matt Bomer.

Kramer founded the group Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) in 1982.

The organization focused on helping people living with HIV infection. He left the organization in 1983 and founded AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). He led the organization in protests to draw the attention of the health authorities to the AIDs epidemic ravaging the gay community.

In 2013, he was awarded a special Tony for his humanitarian work.

He also married his partner David Webster in 2013.


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