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James Hormel LGBTQ Trailblazer Dies

By Charlotte Robinson, August 14, 2021

James (Jim) Hormel who was the first openly gay United States Ambassador appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1999 has died at age of 88. Hormel was an LGBTQ philanthropist & trailblazer & grandson of George A. Hormel founder of Hormel Foods. Imani Rupert-Gordon NCLR Executive Director stated, “We are saddened by the news of the passing of our dear friend, Jim Hormel. Jim made history as the first openly gay US ambassador when appointed to Luxembourg by President Clinton in 1999. But long before his appointment & for decades beyond, James C. Hormel helped all of us make history.” NCLR’s former Executive Director Kate Kendell added, “Jim’s passing leaves a gaping hole in many hearts. From my earliest days at NCLR, Jim invested in both me & our work. His support, love & friendship through the years helped sustain me through many challenging moments. He embodied an impish joy even as his resume lauded many accomplishments. We will miss everything about him & I know NCLR will continue to fight on in his legacy.” John Podesta, Founder & chairman of the Center for American Progress concluded, “Ambassador Hormel’s passing is a profound loss for so many, but particularly for the progressive movement & members of the LGBTQ community, whose lives & rights he fought to advance through decades of public service, philanthropy & activism… While he will be dearly missed, we remain steadfast in our dedication to the mission to which Jim dedicated so much of his life—ensuring that all people are treated with dignity & entitled to equal protection under the law.”

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