Elizabeth Glaser, AIDS group founder, dies from the disease

LOS ANGELES — LOS ANGELES -- Elizabeth Glaser, whose agonizing story of how she and her two children became infected with AIDS brought a tearful silence to the floor of the 1992 Democratic presidential convention, died yesterday.

Mrs. Glaser, 47, died of complications from acquired immune deficiency syndrome at her Santa Monica, Calif., home, said Carol Pearlman, an associate at the Pediatric AIDS Foundation which Mrs. Glaser helped found.


Since disclosing her tragedy five years ago, the wife of actor Paul Michael Glaser (of "Starsky and Hutch" fame) and mother had become an unlikely but highly visible lobbyist in the international battle against the disease that eventually claimed her.

She said that her family's nightmare began in 1981, when she was nine months pregnant with Ariel, her first child. She was hemorrhaging and was taken to a Los Angeles hospital, where she received seven pints of blood. The baby was delivered successfully.


In 1985 Ariel became seriously ill and didn't respond to treatment. The girl and her family were finally tested for the human immunodeficiency virus. Mrs. Glaser tested positive,

and it was determined that she had passed the virus to Ariel

through her milk. She had also transmitted the virus to her second child, Jake. Her husband was the only family member who remained uninfected.

After her daughter's death, Mrs. Glaser went to Washington and cornered congressional representatives seeking help to both fight the AIDS battle and raise the public's consciousness about who was at risk.

She had set up meetings with Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Kitty Dukakis and former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop.

She concluded that Washington wasn't doing enough. So she turned to newfound friends in Congress; subsequently, the budget for pediatric AIDS was raised from $3.3 million to $8.8 million.

She also co-founded the Pediatric AIDS Foundation with Susan DeLaurentis and Susan Zeegen, and helped raise millions for care and treatment of young AIDS victims. In eight months she had acquired $2.2 million to finance 40 research grants.

In 1992, she was asked to share the Democratic platform in New York with a gay man who also was a Clinton aide -- Bob Hattoy. He too had the AIDS virus.


"Exactly four years ago," Mrs. Glaser told them, "my daughter died. She did not survive the Reagan administration. I am here because my son and I may not survive another four years of leaders who say they care -- but do nothing."

In September, in one of her final public appearances, Mrs. Glaser attended a benefit for her foundation. She received a presidential citation from Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Services will be private with a memorial service pending.