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Paul Graham Popham
Born October 6, 1941
Emmett, Idaho[1]
Died May 7, 1987[1]
New York City[1]
Nationality USA
Known for AIDS Activist

Paul Graham Popham was an American gay rights activist who served as the president of the Gay Men's Health Crisis from 1981 until 1985. He also helped found and was chairman of the AIDS Action Council, a lobbying organization in Washington.[1] He was the basis for the character of Bruce Niles in Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, which was one of the first plays to address the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Early life and careerEdit

Popham was born in Emmett, Idaho, and graduated from Portland State College.[1]

He was a Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star for valor in 1966, serving as a first lieutenant in the Fifth Air Cavalry. He retired in 1969 as a Special Forces major in the Army Reserve.[1] After his time in the army, Popham worked for the Irving Trust Company, leaving as a vice president in 1980.[1] Thereafter, he joined McGraw-Hill Inc..[1][2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Rosentham, Andrew (May 8, 1987). "Paul Popham, 45, A Founder of AIDS Organization, Dies". New York City: New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  2. "Paul Popham, AIDS Activist". Los Angeles: Los Angeles Times. May 9, 1987. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 

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