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James Hormel
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    (January 1, 1933- )
    Born in Austin, Minnesota
    Grandson of Hormel Foods founder George A. Hormel
    Philanthropist/LGBT activist
    Founding member of the Human Rights Campaign (1981)
    Funded the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library (1995)
    Member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (1995)
    US Ambassador to Luxembourg (1999-2001)
    First openly gay man to serve as an American ambassador
    He is heir to a fortune based on Spam. (And, to be fair, on other, less-objectionable lunchmeats.)
    Bill Clinton initially planned to name him ambassador to Fiji, but had second thoughts following protests from Fijian officials, who noted that homosexual acts are illegal in their country.
    Conservative groups protested his appointment as ambassador to Luxembourg, claiming that he was pro-pornography and anti-Catholic.
    Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott blocked a vote on his nomination for two years, forcing Clinton to use a recess appointment to make him an ambassador.
    He has funded research into AIDS and breast cancer.
    The pro-pornography claim was based on a list of titles at the Hormel Center -- works which also turned out to be included in the Library of Congress.
    The anti-Catholic charges were based entirely on an interview in which he laughed at a joke about the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
    His supporters included some Republican Senators, such as Orin Hatch and Al D'Amato.
    He received the Lifetime Achievement Grand Marshall Award from the San Francisco Pride board of directors (2010).

Credit: C. Fishel

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