Larry Kramer, gay activist and pioneer in the fight against AIDS through the organization Act Up, died Wednesday in New York at the age of 84. The New york times, Who quotes her husband Daniel Webster, said he died of pneumonia.
“Rest in power,” Act Up tweeted. “Your rage has helped inspire our movement. We will continue to honor your name and your spirit with action,” added the organization.
Larry Kramer, author of numerous plays and screenplays, had contracted the HIV virus himself and suffered from multiple health problems throughout his life. But he remained active, and had indicated in March to New york times work on a new piece related to the coronavirus pandemic.
After founding in 1981 the organization Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Larry Kramer was one of the founders of Act Up in 1987: by his spectacular actions, the organization helped to mobilize against this disease that many leaders initially wanted to believe confined to homosexuals.
“The pursuit of our existence depends on our ability to get angry,” he wrote in 1983 in the gay publication New York Native. “If we don’t fight for our lives, we will die.”
“Millions of people are alive thanks to Larry Kramer, myself included,” Corey Johnson, chief of New York city council and a gay activist himself, said on Twitter. “He was not the easiest person, thank god for that. He was a hero and became my friend,” he added.
“A magnificent force”
Actress Mia Farrow also praised on Twitter “a magnificent force, whose intellect, heart and indignation has awakened the nation to the horrors and losses caused by AIDS”.
“May God bless all those whose lives have been transformed by your powerful and ferocious voice,” also tweeted committed actress Rosanna Arquette.
In fact, Larry Kramer was known for his outbursts – Susan Sontag nicknamed him “one of the most useful spoilers in the United States” – which helped raise awareness of the severity of the AIDS epidemic .
Dr. Anthony Fauci, currently White House adviser on the coronavirus pandemic, which Larry Kramer called “an incompetent idiot” at the start of the AIDS epidemic, told New york times that once “beyond his polemical side, what he said made a lot of sense and he had a heart of gold”.
Among the best known works by Larry Kramer: The Normal Heart, a play written in 1985 and which condemned the inaction of leaders in the face of the disease. She was awarded three Tony’s – the Broadway awards – in 2011, before being adapted for the screen by Ryan Murphy.
He was also nominated for an Oscar in 1971 for his screenplay adapted from Women in love, the novel by D.H. Lawrence.