An illustration of Larry Kramer in his Manhattan apartment.Credit...Joshua Bright for The New York Times

Activists and Celebrities Honor Larry Kramer’s Brash Advocacy

Mr. Kramer, who died on Wednesday, was remembered for his pioneering and often confrontational work during the early days of the AIDS crisis.


Activists, celebrities, community leaders and L.G.B.T. groups reacted to the death of the longtime H.I.V. and AIDS activist Larry Kramer on Wednesday, sharing memories of his fiery passion and advocacy in tributes on social media.

The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or ACT UP, which Mr. Kramer started in 1987 to draw attention to the AIDS crisis through bold and confrontational street actions, remembered its co-founder as “our fighter.”

“Your rage helped inspire a movement,” the group said on Twitter. “We will keep honoring your name and spirit with action.”

GMHC, the first organization for H.I.V.-positive people, which Mr. Kramer helped create in 1982 as Gay Men’s Health Crisis after reading about a disease that was referred to as the gay man’s cancer, mourned its co-founder.

“He was an extraordinary activist & inspiration to us all,” the group said. “He was a revolutionary who challenged the status quo. His legacy will live on.”

The same brash tactics that eventually got Mr. Kramer kicked out of GMHC made him a hero to others.

“This is the Larry Kramer I will always remember, filled with rage and defiance,” the actor Lea DeLaria said in a tweet featuring a photo of an angry-looking Mr. Kramer shouting into a microphone. “He changed the world. We queers have lost a hero today. I will miss you my friend. Rest In Power.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York called Mr. Kramer “fearless.”

“He stirred the pot, called out the powerful and, much to the chagrin of some people, he was almost always right,” Mr. de Blasio said. “We’re mourning a great New Yorker today.”

[Read about Dr. Fauci’s relationship with Larry Kramer.]

Fans shared images of Mr. Kramer on social media, including ones of him wearing a sweatshirt that read “Silence = Death,” Mr. Kramer’s creed when it came to his activism surrounding the AIDS crisis.

The actor Wilson Cruz said on Twitter he had trouble finding the right words to say about Mr. Kramer.

“How do you even begin to thank a person who fought their entire adult life for your humanity, your dignity and your right to live?” Mr. Cruz wrote. “Thank you, Larry Kramer.”

Mr. Kramer’s work as a playwright, particularly “The Normal Heart,” resonated throughout the world of theater and beyond.

“Reading ‘The Normal Heart’ as a kid changed my life,” Chelsea Clinton said of the autobiographical play, which describes the early years of the AIDS crisis, including how Mr. Kramer and others organized to force the government to move faster in its quest to find a cure or medications for AIDS patients.

“The Normal Heart” opened at the Public Theater in 1985 and ran for nine months. In 2011 the play opened on Broadway to good reviews.

Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of “Hamilton” and “In the Heights,” thanked Mr. Kramer on Twitter.

“Don’t know a soul who saw or read ‘The Normal Heart’ and came away unmoved, unchanged,” Mr. Miranda said. “What an extraordinary writer, what a life.”

In 2014, “The Normal Heart” was adapted into a movie for HBO. Directed by Ryan Murphy and written by Mr. Kramer, the film won an Emmy Award for outstanding television movie.

Matt Bomer, who played Felix Turner in the adaptation and won a Golden Globe in 2015 for his role, shared a photo of himself with Mr. Kramer on Instagram.

“I don’t have the words to properly express my gratitude, admiration, and love for you,” Mr. Bomer said in the caption. “Your writing was bold, courageous, and urgent. It educated, stirred people to action, and saved lives. A towering intellect and an amazing wit.”

Elton John praised Mr. Kramer’s voice as “the loudest and the most effective” at a time “when gay men’s deaths to AIDS were being ignored by the American government.”

“He never stopped shouting about the injustices against us,” Mr. John said on Twitter.

Dan Savage, the author and advice columnist, said on Twitter that Mr. Kramer taught gay men to love themselves.

“Larry Kramer valued every gay life at a time when so many gay men had been rendered incapable of valuing our own lives,” Mr. Savage said. “He ordered us to love ourselves and each other and to fight for our lives.”

Several L.G.B.T. groups and health centers also remembered Mr. Kramer.

Brian K. Bond, the executive director of PFLAG, said that Mr. Kramer “urged us forward, made us pay attention and made us take action.”

He added that Mr. Kramer’s “work turned the tide on the AIDS epidemic and forced the uncomfortable recognition that pandemic does not discriminate, people do.”

The Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York City remembered Mr. Kramer “as a complicated figure, but undoubtedly one of the heroes of the AIDS pandemic.”

“Larry’s unabashed activism helped save thousands of lives and raised political awareness surrounding the AIDS crisis,” the center added. “He will be deeply missed.”

Corey Johnson, the first openly gay speaker of the New York City Council, who is H.I.V. positive, attributed nothing short of his life to Mr. Kramer.

“Millions of people are alive because of Larry Kramer, including me,” Mr. Johnson wrote on Twitter. “He wasn’t the easiest person, & thank God for that. He was a hero who became my friend. I love you Larry & I will ACTUP the rest of my life for others, just like you did for me.”