(February 25, 1955 - May 15, 2009) USA
Rodger McFarlane, who was born in Theodore, Alabama, served in the United States Navy before moving to New York City in the late 1970s.
In 1981, soon after Larry Kramer and others founded the Gay Men's Health Crisis, McFarlane volunteered to help. As Kramer, one of McFarlane's best friends, later explained: "He started a hotline on his home phone, which grew into the GMHC hotline, which became the lifeblood of information for the organization."
McFarlane, the inspiration for Tommy Boatright in Kramer's The Normal Heart , served as GMHC's Executive Director from 1983 to 1985; he later helped found Broadway Cares.
On May 15, 2009, after years of constant heart and back problems, Rodger McFarlane took his own life in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.
After his death, Larry Kramer wrote that McFarlane "did more for the gay world than any person has ever done. His loss to us all is inestimable... I don't think the gay world knew or knows how great he was and how much he did for us and how much we need him still and how much we will miss him."