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In Memoriam – Larry Kramer

June 25, 1935 – May 27, 2020

May 27, 2020 – Treatment Action Group (TAG) is deeply saddened to learn that the seemingly indestructible writer, activist, playwright, and agitator Larry Kramer has died at 84. Over his long and eventful life Larry overcame so many health challenges that he came to seem invincible. Larry’s contributions—from his role in co-founding Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1982 and ACT UP in 1987 to his sounding the alarm through plays and galvanizing essays about the failure of government at all levels to respond to the AIDS crisis—helped catalyze smart, focused nationwide AIDS activism. The movements and organizations he inspired created coherent strategies to challenge and transform bureaucracies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), changing these agencies’ response to accelerate the development and approval of effective treatments against HIV and its many opportunistic infections and complications.

“As a young activist in the early and most difficult years of the AIDS crisis, Larry’s friendship and support meant a lot to me and my comrades in ACT UP’s Treatment + Data [T+D] Committee,” said Mark Harrington, TAG’s executive director. “Despite all the difficulties he encountered, Larry had a good, long, and productive life. He helped catalyze a powerful movement, cofounded two historic organizations, continually worked as a writer, married the love of his life, with whom he spent his last three decades, and survived a series of health challenges including HIV, a liver transplant, and many other crises to complete his epic two-volume novel on American history.”

TAG extends our condolences to Larry’s husband David Webster, his family, and his many friends.

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Larry Kramer and Mark Harrington, 1989. Photo by Simon Watney.

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