Activist, author, and playwright Larry Kramer has died at the age of 84. Kramer was a lifelong AIDS activist, raising his voice when others wouldn’t. He helped co-found the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the activist group ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). He was the author of numerous works, including the groundbreaking 1978 novel Faggots and the Tony Award-winning play The Normal Heart.
The NYT reports: “His husband, David Webster, said the cause was pneumonia. Mr. Kramer had weathered illness for much of his adult life. Among other things he had been infected with H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, contracted liver disease and underwent a successful liver transplant.”
Kramer was writing a new play, An Army of Lovers Must Not Die, which dealt in part with the COVID-19 crisis.
“It’s about gay people having to live through three plagues,” he told the New York Times in a recent profile which also revealed that Kramer, 84, was isolating by himself in Greenwich Village as his husband David Webster was away from home on a work project.
The NYT reported: “The three plagues are H.I.V./AIDS, Covid-19 and the decline of the human body — specifically, a broken leg that Mr. Kramer, 84, suffered last April, when he fell in his apartment and lay on the floor until his home attendant arrived hours later. … He did not find that his experience during the AIDS crisis gave him perspective on the coronavirus pandemic, he said. Rather, the two eras merge into each other.”
The profile noted Kramer’s friendship with Dr. Anthony Fauci, once an enemy he targeted over the government’s response to the AIDS crisis in the ’80s. Fauci and Kramer had since mended ways, and recently corresponded over the current virus.
“Hunker down,” was the advice Fauci gave him.
Tributes to Kramer poured out on social media Wednesday.