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In Memoriam

Screen legend, HIV/AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor dead at 79

Wednesday, March 23, 2011
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Screen legend Elizabeth Taylor, died early today from congestive heart failure at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She was surrounded by her four children.

Taylor was 79.

Taylor was an ally to the LGBT community, and worked tirelessly on behalf of AIDS-related charities and fund raising. She helped start the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) after the death of her former co-star and friend, Rock Hudson.

She also created her own AIDS foundation, the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation. By 1999, she had helped to raise an estimated $50 million to fight the disease.

Taylor won two Academy Awards, both for Best Actress — for “Butterfield 8″ (1960) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1966) — and in 1992 was awarded the Jean Herscholt Humanitarian Academy Award for her work fighting AIDS.

“We are deeply saddened by the death Elizabeth Taylor,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese, in a statement.

“Ms. Taylor was a true ally to the LGBT community. She was one of the first public voices to speak up about the AIDS crisis while many others stayed silent in the 1980s and she helped raise millions of dollars to fight the disease. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, and to all those whose lives have been positively impacted by the life and work of Elizabeth Taylor,” said Solmonese.

Taylor was hospitalized six weeks ago with congestive heart failure, “a condition with which she had struggled for many years,” according to a statement from her publicist.

Congestive heart failure is a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body.

In addition to her four children, Taylor is survived by 10 grand children and four great grandchildren.

May she rest in peace.

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