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Famous People Who Died of AIDS

Swapnil Srivastava
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a disease of the human immune system, caused by the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). Read on to know about some famous people who contracted this disease.
According to the HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, the estimated cumulative number of deaths of people with AIDS in United States and the dependent areas through 2007 was 583,298. In 50 states and the District of Columbia, this included 557,902 adults and adolescents, and 4,891 children under the age of 13 years.

Arthur Ashe

Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. was born on July 10, 1943, in Richmond, Virginia. Following his dreams of being a professional tennis player, he was the first African-American junior to receive a U.S. Lawn Tennis Association (USTA) national ranking.

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He was also the first African-American player to compete at the highest level of the game and was awarded a full scholarship by The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
Till date, Ashe remains the only African-American player to win the men's singles at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. After undergoing a heart surgery, Ashe retired in 1980, and died of AIDS on February 6, 1993.

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury was a famous rock musician, best known as the lead singer for the English rock band 'Queen'. He was famous for his powerful vocal abilities and charisma as a live performer. Freddie was born on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, on September 5, 1946, and his real name was Farrokh Bulsara.
Since his childhood, he was very passionate about music, and used his family's old record player for playing records. As his schooling was from India, the music he used to compose was mostly Indian. However, he managed to arrange for some western music too.
Following graduation, Mercury joined a series of bands and ultimately formed the band 'Queen' in 1970, with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. On November 24, 1991, Freddie died at his home in London, of AIDS-related bronchial pneumonia.

Isaac Asimov

Isaac Asimov was born on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi, Russia. Although his parents were orthodox Jews, they never forced their beliefs on Asimov. He had near-photographic memory and could read before he entered the first grade.
He was fascinated with science fiction magazines since his childhood, and around the age of 11, he wrote his first fiction novel, which was about adventures of some young boys in a small town. His first published work was 'Marooned Off Vesta' in a magazine named Amazing Stories, in 1939. One of his best works was 'Nightfall', was published in 1941.
It was story of a planet where night comes once every 2049 years and is described as one of the best science fiction stories ever written. Throughout his life, Asimov wrote over five hundred literary works which included the famous 'I, Robot' and the 'Foundation' series.
He died on April 6, 1992 because of heart and kidney failure, which were due to complications of the HIV infection.

Leigh Bowery

Leigh Bowery was an incredibly talented artist who proved his dexterity in the diversified fields of acting, modeling, pop music, and fashion designing. He was born on March 26, 1961, in Australia. In the 1980s and 1990s, he was one of the most influential figures in the fashion circles in London and New York.
His creations were often mesmerizing as well as shocking to behold. The skillful fusion of drag and conventional design by him was also very popular amongst the youth. His appearance in the Post-Modernist series of television and commercials for Pepe jeans were instant hits and resulted in a huge fan following.
Although he was a celebrity, he managed to keep his illness a secret known to only few people. He died AIDS on New Year's eve, 1994, in Middlesex Hospital, Westminster, London.

Rock Hudson

Rock Hudson was one of the most famous Hollywood stars known for his immaculate good looks and flawless acting talent. He captured the hearts and minds of fans everywhere. He was a dashing actor and the epitome of Hollywood's leading man.
Rock was born on November 17, 1925, in Winnetka, Illinois. His parents divorced when he was eight years old and although he tried for roles in various school plays, he failed to win any because of his inability to remember lines.
As Hollywood was his dream, Rock began to send his photographs to various Hollywood film studios and started taking lessons on acting, singing, riding and dancing.
He also changed his name from Roy Fitzgerald to Rock Hudson, to make it sound more masculine. Because of his good looks these steps landed him a small role in the film 'Fighter Squadron', in 1948.
His career spanned over four decades and nearly 70 motion pictures, which included movies like The Last Sunset, The Ambassador, Strange Bedfellows, Man's Favorite Sport and Send Me No Flowers. Hudson was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the year 1984 and died on October 2, 1985.
Besides the famous people mentioned above, there were many others like Merritt Butrick, Michael Callen, Steve Rubell and NĂ©stor Almendros who died of AIDS.