Ferd Eggan, a onetime Chicagoan who was very involved in the AIDS organization ACT UP, passed away June 6 of complications related to HIV and liver cancer.
Eggan was an activist, revolutionary and former AIDS coordinator for the City of Los Angeles, where he resided at the time of his passing. Last month, the Los Angeles City Council honored Eggan for his leadership in improving HIV/AIDS programs, services and education.
According to InLAMag.com, Eggan—who was diagnosed with HIV in 1986—was born in 1946 in Albena, Mich., and 'learned compassion at an early age as he struggled with who he was and wanted to be.' He initially attended college in Michigan, but eventually dropped out of school and moved to South Carolina, where he help register Black voters—and encountered his first love, an African-American soldier. ( According to the site, Eggan was forced to leave town in 1966 over his interracial gay love. )
Eggan then went from New York City to San Francisco to Chicago. It was in the Windy City where he joined the Gay Liberation Front and co-founded ACT UP/Chicago. He then moved to Los Angeles in 1990.
In an e-mail he sent several months ago to several individuals, Eggan commented, in part, 'I have no big regrets so far, except for the ways I may have hurt others. My politics have been pretty good and I at least had good intentions.'
There was a vigil for Eggan in West Hollywood, Calif., on July 8. Details of services will be reported as they become available.