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First openly gay U.S. Ambassador, James Hormel, dies at 88

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Posted at 4:00 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 18:00:38-04

The nation's first openly gay U.S. Ambassador, James Hormel, has died.

He was 88.

According to CNN and The Hill, Hormel was appointed US ambassador to Luxembourg from 1999 to 2000 by then-President Bill Clinton.

CNN reported that Clinton used executive privilege to appoint Hormel to the position.

The Hill and CNN reported that Clinton first appointed Hormel to the ambassador position in 1997. Still, he wasn’t confirmed at the time because conservative Republicans were outspoken against his gay rights advocacy.

Before serving as ambassador, Hormel served on two separate US delegations to the United Nations. He was also the dean of students at the University of Chicago Law School and co-founded the Human Rights Campaign.

Hormel was the grandson of George Hormel, who founded the Hormel Foods company.