October 26, 2011 at 3:04 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Medical Examiner says Kameny died of heart disease

Frank Kameny (center) at the Library of Congress’ ‘Creating the United States’ exhibit looking at his 1961 Supreme Court brief flanked by historian John Haynes (left) and Charles Francis. (Photo by Charles Francis)

The D.C. Medical Examiner’s office disclosed on Wednesday that gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny died of natural causes due to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, according to Beverly Fields, a spokesperson for the office.

Medical information provided by the National Institutes of Health describes that condition as a form of heart disease brought about by hardening of the arteries leading to and within the heart.

“That’s the most common form of heart disease where plaque forms on the vessels that supply blood to the heart,” said Tina Celenza, a physician’s assistant with Whitman-Walker Health, the D.C.-based medical provider. “That would usually cause a heart attack,” Celenza said.

Kameny died in his home in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 11 at the age of 86. LGBT activists and leaders have credited him with being one of the nation’s most prominent leaders of the LGBT rights movement over a period of 50 years.

Friends and colleagues have arranged for a Lying in State tribute to Kameny scheduled for Nov. 3 at D.C.’s Carnegie Library at 9th and K Streets, N.W., between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

1 Comment
  • Who do we need to know or care what caused his death, unless someone suspected foul play? The original article a couple weeks ago said he died of natural causes, eliminating foul play as an option. That’s all we need to know. For Lord’s sake, he was 86. Let him rest in peace…

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