New Democracy Maps

MAP Mourns the Passing of Jim Hormel, LGBTQ Equality Philanthropist and Founding Supporter of MAP


Rebecca Farmer, Movement Advancement Project | 303-578-4600 ext 122 

(August 13, 2021)—James Catherwood Hormel, known to most as Jim Hormel, passed away on August 13, 2021, with his husband at his side. Although Jim is often most recognized for being the United States’ first openly gay ambassador, Jim was also an incredible philanthropist and his early and relentless advocacy for LGBTQ people and other causes has had a profound impact in advancing equality and improving the lives of people throughout the country.

Jim was a founding donor and longtime supporter of the Movement Advancement Project (MAP). His generosity and ongoing support helped get MAP off the ground—and have been critical to MAP’s advocacy for LGBTQ equality over the last 15 years.

Michael Fleming, MAP Vice Board Chair, Executive Director of the David Bohnett Foundation, and long-time friend and colleague of Jim, had this to say about his passing:
Jim was not only a colleague and mentor, but he was the living embodiment of someone who, for decades, valued friendships and relationships above all else. While he was most assuredly impatient for change, no one knew how to play the long game so well, and when the right moment came to put pressure on a policy maker or lean into a friendship for the good of the community, Jim’s gentle smile and firm grip could always be counted on to seal the deal. I shall miss my friend tremendously.
Chris Cormier Maggiano, MAP Board Chair, stated:
Jim Hormel was a man I admired and will miss. His presence in a room raised the quality of thoughtfulness, civility, and kindness. As a philanthropist and political donor, Jim was respected and looked to as a leader. He paved the way for generations of LGBTQ people, and made my life as a gay man so much easier because of it. I will miss Jim and feel lucky to have gotten to learn from him and call him a friend.
Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director of MAP, said:
I did not know Jim well but my experience with him was that he was a gentle, understated and kind person who was always seeking to make a difference. He was also a man of quiet courage—whether facing down hostility and political attacks related to his appointment as America’s first openly gay ambassador, or being a fierce advocate for LGBTQ equality during a time when LGBTQ people were under vicious attack. His goal was to help and be a role model for others and his generosity and thoughtfulness were an inspiration. He will be greatly missed.
Jim’s passing will be mourned by MAP and thousands of others. MAP’s work continues in his honor and memory. We will miss you, Jim.


MAP's mission is to provide independent and rigorous research, insight and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all. MAP works to ensure that all people have a fair chance to pursue health and happiness, earn a living, take care of the ones they love, be safe in their communities, and participate in civic life. 

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