Anger became Activism: Activist Larry Kramer Dies at 84

AIDS activist, playwright, and firebrand Larry Kramer passed today, having shown a generation how to channel anger into activism.

May 27, 2020

The Board of Directors and staff of San Francisco AIDS Foundation mourn the passing of Larry Kramer, AIDS activist, playwright, and founder of ACT UP and Gay Men’s Health Crisis.

“Larry Kramer was a firebrand. He was brash, unapologetic, and brilliant. He was loud at a time when silence was killing us,” said Joe Hollendoner, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “Larry railed against elected and government officials who were slow to respond in the early years of AIDS. He channeled his anger into activism and knew that if we were to protect our lives and end the epidemic, we would have to do it ourselves. A dazzling light in our community has gone dark. Thank you, Larry, for your art, activism, and action. May you rest in power and peace.”

Mr. Kramer’s 1985 autobiographical play “The Normal Heart” captured the pain and loss of the pre-treatment years of the epidemic. The play’s 2011 revival and 2014 film adaptation for HBO raised awareness of the AIDS crisis among younger generations who live in the legacy of his work.