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Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79

Elizabeth Taylor Dies at 79


Legendary actress, AIDS activist and LGBT icon Elizabeth Taylor died Wednesday morning in Los Angeles. She was 79.

Her death was confirmed to CBS Radio News and other outlets shortly after 9 a.m eastern time.

Taylor's publicist, Sally Morrison, told the Associated Press that the actress died of congestive heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Taylor had been treated for symptoms of the condition in recent weeks.

Taylor's son, Michael Wilding, released the following statement as first reported by ABC News: “My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love. Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world.”

Jarret Barrios, the president of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation mourned the loss of Taylor in a statement shortly after her death.

"At a time when so many living with HIV/AIDS were invisible, Dame Taylor fearlessly raised her voice to speak out against injustice. Dame Taylor was an icon not only in Hollywood, but in the LGBT community where she worked to ensure that everyone was treated with the respect and dignity we all deserve."

The Academy Award winner was one of the first stars in Hollywood to publicly address AIDS. She helped to start the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amFAR) after the death of her friend Rock Hudson. She also started her own charity, the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Even in failing health, Taylor was a staple at various charitable fundraisers around the country to fight the disease.

Taylor was honored by the American Foundation for AIDS Research with a video detailing her tireless activism against the disease. "I am not here in Washington to make people like me," Taylor says during a visit to our nation's capital. "I'm here to speak about a national scandal, a scandal of neglect, indifference, and abandonment." The narrator states, "Dame Elizabeth has fought for policy based on facts, not fear, for early education, and early intervention and scientific research."

Watch the full video below.

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