Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

October 25, 2002

Harry Hay, 90, a pioneering activist in the gay rights movement, died yesterday in San Francisco. He had recently been diagnosed with lung cancer.

Mr. Hay, among the first to argue that gays represented a cultural minority, devoted his life to progressive politics and in 1950 founded the secret network of support groups for gays known as the Mattachine Society.

His contribution to the American political landscape can be traced to his involvement in the Communist Party and the labor movement in the 1930s.

He was an actor living in Los Angeles in 1934 when he first became active in left-wing politics, and realized he needed to do similar organizing in the gay community.

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