Obituary: writer and activist Robert Hilferty, 49

Posted on: August 20, 2009

A report in Thursday’s (8/20) New York Times states, “Robert Hilferty, a writer and an AIDS activist who made a documentary film in 1989 that roiled the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York and the Public Broadcasting Service, died on July 24 at his home in Manhattan. He was 49. Mr. Hilferty committed suicide while suffering from complications of a head injury he received in March, said Fabio Toblini, his companion. In the late 1980s, while he was active in the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (Act Up), Mr. Hilferty produced and directed a 24-minute film, ‘Stop the Church,’ documenting a demonstration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan by gay rights and abortion rights advocates. … Mr. Hilferty was a freelance writer for many publications, including New York magazine, Playbill, The Village Voice, Opera News, Artforum, Bloomberg News and The New York Times. He wrote about classical music, architecture, acting, fashion and gardening.” Hilferty also worked as an editor at Stagebill, the performing-arts program magazine; was an on-screen interviewer for Muse, Bloomberg TV’s arts program; and wrote a culture-focused blog, The Hilferty Harangue. Shortly before his death, Hilferty had finished an article on classical music in Sao Paulo for Symphony magazine, which can now be read pdf here.

Posted August 20, 2009