- Elizabeth Taylor at an HIV/AIDS fundraiser in 1993 (Photo: Associated Press)
This morning, Hollywood star, gay icon, and HIV/AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor died at the age of 79. Local mourners may want to pay their respects at the Whitman-Walker Clinic's main facility, the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, located at 1701 14th St. NW. “Elizabeth Taylor was the first major Hollywood star to take up the banner of HIV/AIDS activism,” the clinic's executive director, Don Blanchon, said in a statement. “At a time when most Americans thought of HIV/AIDS as something that didn’t affect them, her commitment to the issue and considerable star power helped to take the fight against HIV/AIDS right into the mainstream of American society. Her dedication to raising money along with awareness has helped to save countless lives both by helping to treat people living with the virus and by preventing new infections.” Whitman-Walker named the facility after Taylor in 1993; Taylor attended the dedication.