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Shilts, Randy

Born: 1951 AD
Died: 1994 AD, at 42 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Authors, Journalist, Writers


1951 - Randy Shilts, born on the 8th of August in Davenport, Iowa. He was a highly acclaimed, pioneering gay American journalist and author.

1971 - During his college days, he "came out" publicly as a gay man at age 20, and ran for student office with the slogan "Come out for Shilts."

1975 - Graduated at the University of Oregon major in Journalism.

1981 - He was finally hired as a national correspondent by the San Francisco Chronicle, becoming "the first openly gay reporter with a gay 'beat' in the American mainstream press".

1982 - His first book, The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, is a biography of the first openly gay San Francisco politician, Harvey Milk, who was assassinated by a political rival.

1987 - His second book, And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic was  published.
       - Won the Stonewall Book Award and brought him nationwide literary fame.

       - He was found to be HIV positive in March.

1988 - Honoured with Outstanding Author award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

1990 - Awarded by Mather Lectureship at Harvard University.

1992 - Came down with pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and suffered a collapsed lung.

1993 - His last book, Conduct Unbecoming: Gays and Lesbians in the US Military: Vietnam to the Persian Gulf, which examined discrimination against lesbians and gays in the military, was published.

       - Received Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists' Association.

       - He came down with Kaposi's sarcoma.

1994 - Died, aged 42, at his ten-acre ranch in Guerneville, Sonoma County, California, on the 17th of February being survived by his partner, Barry Barbieri, his mother, and his brothers.

1999 - The Department of Journalism at New York University ranked his AIDS reporting for the Chronicle, as number 44 on a list of the top 100 works of journalism in the United States in the 20th century.


Page last updated: 11:48pm, 06th May '07