FILE -This June 12, 2011 file photo shows Larry Kramer, left, and Daryl Roth embracing after they won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play for "The Normal Heart" during the 65th annual Tony Awards in New York. Kramer, the playwright whose angry voice and pen raised theatergoers’ consciousness about AIDS and roused thousands to militant protests in the early years of the epidemic, died Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in Manhattan of pneumonia. He was 84. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen, File)

Reaction to the death of AIDS activist, writer Larry Kramer

May 27, 2020 - 5:11 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Reaction to the death of Larry Kramer, the AIDS activist and playwright who turned his fury into mass protests and helped raise the profile of the disease:

“At a time when the federal government sat paralyzed in denial of a disease that was ravaging an entire generation of LGBTQ people, Larry Kramer was fearless, uncompromising, relentless and loud —characteristics that ruffled feathers but that forced a response to a public health crisis. He was `one of the men who fought the war' — the epitome, in the midst of a different plague, of New York Tough. He demanded action, and countless people are alive today because of his work, and the work of so many others who refused to accept indifference.” — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a statement.

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"If you remember the early days of the AIDS crisis then you remember Larry Kramer. He was FEARLESS. He stirred the pot, called out the powerful and, much to the chagrin of some people, he was almost always right. We’re mourning a great New Yorker today.” — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, via Twitter.

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“This is a very, very sad day. It’s the passing of a true icon. I had a very long and complicated and ultimately wonderful relationship with him over more than three decades. We went from adversaries to acquaintances to friends to really, really dear friends. He would not hesitate a second to blast me publicly even though the night before we were having dinner together and having fun together. He’s just an amazing guy. I took it in the right spirit.” — Dr. Anthony Fauci, longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to The Associated Press.

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“Larry Kramer could best be described as a force of nature, like a hurricane. If you were in his way, you didn’t want to be in his path. He was a force to be reckoned with, not only in his founding of GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis) and later ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), but in his unwavering willingness to speak truth to power.” — Dr. Jack Drescher, a New York City psychiatrist who lost many friends and colleagues to AIDS, in a statement.

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“Larry Kramer was like an Old Testament prophet — angry and righteous. He could be a foul-weather friend, who helped even enemies when they had health problems. He could be scathing and antagonistic or wonderfully compassionate." — Author and fellow founder of the Gay Men's Health Crisis Edmund White, in a statement.

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“We have lost a giant of a man who stood up for gay rights like a warrior. His anger was needed at a time when gay men’s deaths to AIDS were being ignored by the American government: a tragedy that made the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP movements so vital. He never stopped shouting about the injustices against us. His voice was the loudest and the most effective.” — Elton John, via Instagram.

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“He was ferocious and tireless in his beliefs. A true hero that so many people owe their lives to today. I was honored to spend time in his orbit.” — Julia Roberts, co-star of movie adaptation of “The Normal Heart,” in a statement.

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“Rest in Power, King!” — Mark Ruffalo, co-star with Julia Roberts of movie adaptation of “The Normal Heart,” via Twitter.

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“Don’t know a soul who saw or read `The Normal Heart' and came away unmoved, unchanged. What an extraordinary writer, what a life. Thank you, Larry Kramer.” — Lin-Manuel Miranda, via Twitter.

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“Larry Kramer valued every gay life at a time when so many gay men had been rendered incapable of valuing our own lives. He ordered us to love ourselves and each other and to fight for our lives. He was a hero.” — Author and activist Dan Savage, via Twitter.

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“Larry Kramer’s death hits our community hard. He was a fighter who never stood down from what he believed was right, and he contributed so much to the fight against HIV/AIDS. He will be missed by so many.” — GLAAD, via Twitter.

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“I was one of the many frightened kids that joined ACT UP hoping to push back death. He called us his kids, and, for me, he became a mentor and father figure. We forget that ACT UP was born six years into the crisis. Six lost years, as the country and its president ignored a new virus that was slaughtering a community they despised. Larry told us to fight back." — Prominent, longtime HIV/AIDS activist in New York City Peter Staley, in a statement.

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“Rest in power to our fighter Larry Kramer. Your rage helped inspire a movement. We will keep honoring your name and spirit with action.” — ACT UP NY, via Twitter.

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“Larry Kramer changed me in the same way he changed the world, with love, compassion and an indomitable spirit. He taught me the meaning of the word resist and how one person can change the world. I will keep fighting Larry, just like you taught us. SILENCE=DEATH” — Ellen Barkin, who co-starred in the 2011 Broadway production of “The Normal Heart,” via Twitter.

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“Today we lost a titan, a warrior, an unflinching iconoclast. — Actor Zachary Quinto, via Instagram.

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“Sad to hear of Larry Kramer’s passing. We shared the stage in Lance Black’s play, `8' which highlighted our fight for marriage equality. He was a fierce advocate for gay rights. He and his passionate voice will be missed.” — Rob Reiner, via Twitter.

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“I met Larry Kramer when I was 18 or 19 & did a reading of his play The Destiny of Me. Getting to converse with him & soak up some of his incredible energy was galvanizing, & was one of the main reasons I then chose to live my life as a publicly out actor at a time when few did.” — Anthony Rapp, via Twitter.

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“Reading 'The Normal Heart' as a kid changed my life and I was completely overwhelmed when I first met its author during its 2011 Broadway run. Devastated to learn of Larry Kramer’s passing and holding all his loved ones in my heart. Rest in power.” — Chelsea Clinton, via Twitter.

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“God Bless You, Larry Kramer. Everyone in the LGBTQ community owes you a debt of gratitude.” — Andy Cohen, via Twitter.

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“Rest in power to an icon and true fighter until the very end. We thank you, Larry Kramer.” — Janet Mock, via Twitter.

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"Larry Kramer was an American original who got loud, acted up, and saved many LGBTQ lives. His unrelenting efforts won’t be forgotten and should be held up as an example of a timeless truth: `the one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.'” — Tim Cook, via Twitter.

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“Larry Kramer. I don't have the words to properly express my gratitude, admiration, and love for you. Your writing was bold, courageous, and urgent. It educated, stirred people to action, and saved lives. A towering intellect and an amazing wit. My time with you is something I will treasure for the rest of my life. Rest in Peace my friend.” — Matt Bomer, who co-starred in the 2014 TV adaptation of “The Normal Heart, via Instagram.

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“When so much of the world refused to see any value in our beating hearts, Larry Kramer’s rage helped lift us out of invisibility. It was an honor to know him. Today, our movement has lost one of its greatest fighters. Tonight, shout it so he can hear it: #ActUpFightBackEndAIDS” — Writer Dustin Lance Black, via Twitter.

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“He was a warrior when there was nothing but fear. We all owe him a debt.” — Jamie Lee Curtis, via Twitter.

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