Larry Kramer, AIDS activist and ‘Normal Heart’ playwright, dies at 84

Larry Kramer, the pioneering New York AIDS activist who used pamphlets, novels, Broadway plays and ire to spread his lifesaving message, has died. He was 84.

His husband, David Webster, told the New York Times that Kramer, who was HIV positive, had been suffering from pneumonia.

Kramer, who lived in Manhattan, co-founded the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in 1981 to address what was then being called a “gay cancer.” He butted heads with his members, who didn’t always react well to his well-known brashness, and left the group in 1983.

Always a writer, his activism began to take new forms.

In 1985, Kramer wrote the play “The Normal Heart,” a fictionalized retelling of his time spent in that group, which premiered at the Public Theater. It has since become a classic, and won the Tony Award for best revival of a play in 2011. His follow-up 1992 play “The Destiny of Me” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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