Yearbook of heartbreak and outrage - Page 3

A 40-year retrospective highlights the Bay Area Reporter's heroic AIDS coverage

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From obituaries to the bath house battles, the B.A.R. was at the center of the AIDS crisis.

After consistently seeing the tragedy of AIDS on the front page for almost a decade, the B.A.R. became more active itself, inciting its readers to action. "We'd read the B.A.R. to find out about the rallies were happening so we could skip work and take a road trip to Sacramento," Ottman said. "The Chronicle would never cover that."

When the fight against AIDS became a war, the B.A.R.'s writers often felt like they had become war correspondents, complete with all the outsize personality conflict and drama of the classic stereotype.

"[Bob] Ross was a nightmare boss, a pain in the ass, and complete rageaholic," Julian said of B.A.R.'s often conservative cofounder, who died in 2003. "But he was committed to keeping the paper and us running."

THE BAY AREA REPORTER 40TH ANNIVERSARY EXHIBIT

Through June 30, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Union Bank Main Branch

400 California, SF