I was Governor in 1983 when AIDS suddenly struck like a plague and our great New York City nearly panicked. People thought to be suffering from AIDS were treated as pariahs; it was difficult to get beds for the victims, or doctors and nurses to treat them. With no need for prodding, JOHN CARDINAL O'CONNOR made St. Clare's Hospital in Manhattan a haven for AIDS victims, and that example helped encourage the city's aggressive response to a uniquely severe crisis. For many years after that, without publicizing it, the Cardinal visited AIDS patients, sought to comfort them and even changed bedpans.


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!