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Spencer Cox, the revered New York-based AIDS activist who died Tuesday at age 44, is described as a real life hero by Anderson Cooper on his talk show Anderson Live today. "He really helped speed up drug trials that got life-saving HIV medication to people, saved countless lives by speeding up this process."
Cox is featured prominently in How to Survive a Plague, the 2012 documentary about the formation of AIDS activist groups ACTUP and TAG, which is considered by pundits to be a shoo-in for an Academy Award nomination next month.
"Advocacy is one of our rights and our privileges and he took full advantage of it and was so inspiring to me," cohost Rosie Perez adds. "The great thing he did was take the fight from the streets. He was a great foot soldier but he also took it inside the room. He learned the political system and taught himself about lobbying and what people to speak to directly and schooled himself in science."