Gay entrepreneur Bruce Mailman died recently of AIDS. Mailman kept a low profile but as the owner of both the St. Mark’s Baths and his legendary nightclub, the Saint, he left an indeligible mark on gay life in New York City in the 1980s. Mailman was criticized by many, including Randy Shilts in his book about the emergence of AIDS, And the Band Played On, for refusing to shut down the bathhouse when it became apparent that AIDS was transmitted sexually. Mailman maintained that he was protecting personal freedoms. New York City shut down the St. Mark’s and most other bathhouses in the city in 1985.
Bruce Mailman, 55