Voice for Equality: James Hormel
September 14, 2009James Catherwood Hormel is a philanthropist and heir to the fortune of George A. Hormel, founder of Hormel Foods (producers of SPAM and other meat products). He lives in San Francisco.
Hormel earned a B.A. in history (1955) from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania and a law degree (1958) from the University of Chicago Law School (later serving as Dean of the latter school.) He was a member of the 1996 U.S. delegations to the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and the boards of directors of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the American Foundation for AIDS Research. He was appointed United States Ambassador to Luxembourg by President Bill Clinton in 1999. When he was appointed through a recess appointment, he became the first openly gay man to represent the United States as an ambassador. His partner, Timothy Wu, held the Bible on which he swore his oath of office.
In 1991, Hormel donated funds to create the Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library. The Center, which is named in recognition of that gift, officially opened in 1995, making available an outstanding collection of LGBT materials. His community involvement and philanthropic activity with organizations like People For the American Way and the Human Rights Campaign have brought him many awards and honors. Learn more here [Link] and here [Link]
Freedom to Marry salutes James Hormel as a Voice for Equality!
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