1994 February 17

Randy Shilts, Journalist and AIDS Activist, Dies


A pioneering American journalist and author, Randy Shilts was best known as a chronicler for gay civil rights and for bringing public attention to the AIDS crisis. He also wrote three best-selling, widely acclaimed books. He died of complications of AIDS. At the time of his death, he was planning a fourth book, examining the issue of homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church.

The first lesbian and gay rights movement in the world originated in Berlin, Germany, in the 1860s. This included the invention of the word “homosexuality.” Read Robert Beachy, Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity (2014).

Read the books written by Randy Shilts:
The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (1982)
And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic (1980–1985) (1987)
Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. Military (1993)

Don’t miss: David France, How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of  How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS (1916)

Watch an interview with Randy Shilts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsUMFPvZ6w0

Learn more at a  timeline on HIV/AIDS: http://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/aids-timeline/

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