James Hormel, first openly gay U.S. ambassador, dies at 88

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — James Hormel, the first openly gay U.S. ambassador and a philanthropist who funded organizations to fight AIDS and promote human rights, has died. He was 88. The San Francisco Chronicle says Hormel died Friday at a San Francisco hospital with his husband, Michael, at his side. Hormel, an heir to the Hormel Foods fortune, was nominated as ambassador to Luxembourg in 1997 by President Bill Clinton, but conservatives blocked his confirmation. Clinton appointed him two years later during a Congressional recess. Clinton and his wife, Hillary, issued a statement saying Hormel “devoted his life to advancing the rights and dignity of all people.”

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