This report is dedicated to Marvin Oscar Shulman
May 17, 1932–January 15, 2014
Marvin pictured, seated, second from left.
A fierce AIDS warrior, principled leader, and beloved friend, Marvin Shulman was an activist’s activist. He dedicated himself completely to the fight against AIDS, first as a member of ACT UP/NY, where he served as treasurer and as a member of the coordinating committee, and later as the first treasurer of TAG. His years of work for both organizations, without ego or fanfare, made possible historic actions leading to changes that continue to save lives today. Without Marvin, there would have been no “Storm the NIH,” no “Seize Control of the FDA,” no giant condom on Jesse Helm’s house…and none of the lifesaving drugs that have changed the landscape of the epidemic in the ensuing years.
Marvin was fiercely loyal to his friends and a man of legendary generosity in his personal life as well as in his activism. He was loving, blunt, savagely funny, and deeply courageous. He saved many situations with his ability to call bulls**t for the greater good. He was the best kind of activist because he cared—first, last, and always—about the work. Marvin wanted the AIDS crisis to end. He wanted the ignorance and injustice underlying the crisis to end. He didn’t care who took the credit. And so he just did great things. And so can we all. And so must we all.
Marvin’s life and his approach to work were and are a model for other activists, including his colleagues at TAG. Marvin leaves a tremendous legacy. We thank him, and we miss him greatly.
Photo: Thomas M. Keane