Playwright and AIDS activist Larry Kramer has died at the age of 84 of complications from pneumonia. The activist whose playThe Normal Heart woke many to the threat of AIDS in its early days, had lived with and fought HIV for much of his adult life.
Kramer's two best-known plays,The Normal Heartand Pulitzer Prize finalist The Destiny of Me, were strongly autobiographical. He 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.”
According to the New York Times, in the early 1980s, he was among the first activists to foresee that what had at first caused alarm as a rare form of cancer among gay men would spread worldwide, like any other sexually transmitted disease, and kill millions of people without regard to sexual orientation.
He is survived by his husband David Webster.