CHICAGO – A man who was a pillar of the Chicago Pride Parade has died at the age of 70.
Richard Pfeiffer, a gay rights activist who directed the parade since 1974, died Sunday after a battle with cancer, his husband told Go Pride.
His passing has come as a shock and surprise to those who know him, because he kept his cancer battle hidden from most people.
“He’s been a fixture in the gay community for four decades,” State Rep. Greg Harris said. “But when Richard started back the 70s, just to show up on the street as an openly gay person was an act of resistance and defiance against injustice and inequality and racism. And so, we’ve just come so far because of the contribution of guys like Richard.”
Mayor Lightfoot, the city’s first openly gay mayor, reflected on Pfeiffer’s passing.
“Most people know him for the Pride Parade which literally took on single-handedly without any resources I think 50 years ago but the true his he’s done so much more,” Lightfoot said.
Pfeiffer was inducted into Chicago’s LGBT Hall of Fame in 1993. In addition to coordinating the parade, he headed the Chicago Gay Alliance and founded the Gay Activist Coalition.
His husband, Tim Frye, told Go Pride Pfeiffer’s funeral will be held at Drake & Son Funeral Home in West Edgewater. The time and date has yet to be announced.