55 Facts About Larry Kramer


Laurence David Kramer was an American playwright, author, film producer, public health advocate, and gay rights activist.


Larry Kramer began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictures, which led him to London, where he worked with United Artists.


Larry Kramer witnessed the spread of the disease later known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome among his friends in 1980.


Larry Kramer co-founded the Gay Men's Health Crisis, which has become the world's largest private organization assisting people living with AIDS.


Larry Kramer grew frustrated with bureaucratic paralysis and the apathy of gay men to the AIDS crisis, and wished to engage in further action than the social services GMHC provided.


Larry Kramer expressed his frustration by writing a play titled The Normal Heart, produced at The Public Theater in New York City in 1985.


Larry Kramer was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his play The Destiny of Me, and he was a two-time recipient of the Obie Award.

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Laurence David Larry Kramer was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the younger of two children.


Larry Kramer's older brother, Arthur Kramer was born in 1927.


Larry Kramer was considered an "unwanted child" by his parents, who struggled to find work during the American Great Depression.


Larry Kramer's father wanted him to marry a woman with money and pressured him to become a member of Pi Tau Pi, a Jewish fraternity.


Larry Kramer enrolled at Yale College in 1953, where he had difficulty adjusting.


Larry Kramer felt lonely, and earned lower grades than those to which he was accustomed.


Larry Kramer attempted suicide by an overdose of aspirin because he felt like he was the "only gay student on campus".


Larry Kramer enjoyed the Varsity Glee Club during his remaining time at Yale, and he graduated in 1957 with a degree in English.


Larry Kramer served in the US Army Reserve before beginning his film writing and production career.


Larry Kramer became involved with movie production at age 23 by taking a job as a Teletype operator at Columbia Pictures, agreeing to the position only because the machine was across the hall from the president's office.


Larry Kramer later said that his well-negotiated fee for this work, skillfully invested by his brother, made him financially self-sufficient during the 1980s and 1990s.


Larry Kramer then began to integrate homosexual themes into his work, and tried writing for the stage.


Larry Kramer wrote Sissies' Scrapbook in 1973, a dramatic play about four friends, one of whom is gay, and their dysfunctional relationships.


Larry Kramer called it a play about "cowardice and the inability of some men to grow up, leave the emotional bondage of male collegiate camaraderie, and assume adult responsibilities".


Larry Kramer then wrote A Minor Dark Age, which was never produced.


However, when friends he knew from Fire Island began getting sick in 1980, Larry Kramer became involved in gay activism.


In 1981, although he had not been involved previously with gay activism, Larry Kramer invited the "A-list" group of gay men from the New York City area to his apartment to listen to a doctor say their friends' illnesses were related, and research needed to be done.


Larry Kramer found it a disadvantage when he realized his own reputation was "completely that of a crazy man".

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Larry Kramer was particularly frustrated by bureaucratic stalling that snowballed in cases where gay but closeted men were the ones in charge of agencies that seemed to ignore AIDS.


Larry Kramer confronted the director of a National Institutes of Health agency about not devoting more time and effort toward researching AIDS because he was closeted.


Larry Kramer threw a drink in the face of Republican fundraiser Terry Dolan during a party and screamed at him for having affairs with men but using the fear of homosexuality to raise money for conservative causes.


Larry Kramer called Ed Koch and the media and government agencies in New York City "equal to murderers".


Larry Kramer's preferred method of communication was deemed too militant for the group.


Larry Kramer became inspired to chronicle the same reaction from the American government and the gay community to the AIDS crisis by writing The Normal Heart, despite having promised never to write for the theater again.


Larry Kramer's doctors are puzzled and frustrated by having no resources to research it.


Moffett on stage; Larry Kramer went into the bathroom and sobbed, only moments later to find Davis holding him.


Actors following Davis who have portrayed Larry Kramer's alter ego Ned Weeks include; Joel Grey, Richard Dreyfuss, Martin Sheen, Tom Hulce and then John Shea in the West End, Raul Esparza in a highly acclaimed 2004 revival at the Public Theater, and most recently Joe Mantello on Broadway at the Golden Theater.


In 1987, Larry Kramer was the catalyst in the founding of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, a direct action protest organization that chose government agencies and corporations as targets to publicize lack of treatment and funding for people with AIDS.


Larry Kramer was asked to speak as part of a rotating speaker series, and his well-attended speech focused on action to fight AIDS.


Larry Kramer began by having two-thirds of the room stand up, and told them they would be dead in five years.


Larry Kramer was arrested dozens of times working with ACT UP, and the organization grew to hundreds of chapters in the US and Europe.


Two decades later Larry Kramer continued to advocate for social and legal equity for homosexuals.


In later decades, Larry Kramer continued to argue for funding research into cures for AIDS, contending that existing treatments disincentivized the pharmaceutical industry from developing cures.


Larry Kramer implores the government to conduct research based on commonly accepted scientific standards and to allocate funds and personnel to AIDS research.


Tragedy was a speech and a call to arms that Kramer delivered five days after the 2004 re-election of George W Bush and later published as a book.


Larry Kramer believed that Bush was re-elected largely because of his opposition to same-sex marriage, and found it inconceivable that voters would respond so strongly to that issue when there were so many more pressing ones:.


Around 1981, Larry Kramer began researching and writing a manuscript called The American People: A History, an ambitious historical work that begins in the Stone Age and continues into the present.


Larry Kramer agreed to leave his literary papers and those chronicling the AIDS movement and his founding of GMHC and ACT UP to Yale's Beinecke Library.

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In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Larry Kramer began to write a play titled An Army of Lovers Must Not Die.


Arthur, who had protected his younger brother from the parents they both disliked, could neither reject Larry Kramer, nor accept his homosexuality.


When Larry called for a boycott of MCI, a prominent Kramer Levin client, Arthur took it as a personal affront.


In 1992, after Colorado voters endorsed Amendment 2, an anti-gay rights referendum, Larry Kramer supported a boycott of the state, while Arthur refused to cancel a ski trip to Aspen.


Arthur Larry Kramer retired from the firm in 1996 and died from a stroke in 2008.


In 2001, at the age of 66, Larry Kramer was in dire need of a liver transplant, but he was turned down by Mount Sinai Hospital's organ transplant list.


The news prompted Newsweek to announce Larry Kramer was dying in June 2001; the Associated Press in December of the same year reported Larry Kramer's death.


Larry Kramer became a symbol for infected people who had new leases on life due to advances in medicine.


Larry Kramer divided his time between a residence in Manhattan, near Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, and Connecticut.


Larry Kramer died of pneumonia on May 27,2020, at age 84, less than a month short of his 85th birthday.