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.
Rest in power to an icon and true fighter until the very end. We thank you, Larry Kramer. https://t.co/arggtehkYx
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) May 27, 2020
Larry Kramer was an American hero who led a fierce and often lonely battle for action when an American president and New York's mayor refused to mobilize against a devastating plague.https://t.co/YyJWVZmGNe
— Frank Rich (@frankrichny) May 27, 2020
“AIDS was allowed to happen. It is a plague that need not have happened. It is a plague that could have been contained from the very beginning.”
Larry Kramer, an eternal lightning rod and activist, has died at 84. https://t.co/YNlaIc2TBx
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) May 27, 2020
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.
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.