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Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the passing of former Ambassador James Hormel:

            “San Francisco lost a great friend today. A philanthropist, civil rights pioneer and loving spouse and father, James Hormel lived an extraordinary life and will be deeply missed by many.

            “I had the pleasure of working closely with him on several issues, most notably on the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. I was grateful for his help and expertise as a member of the host committee.

            “Tapped to be the ambassador to Luxembourg by President Clinton in 1997, he was the first openly gay person to serve as an ambassador. While his nomination was controversial at the time, his service was distinguished and helped advance LGBTQ rights both at home and abroad.

            “In addition to his trailblazing public service, he helped found several LGBTQ institutions, including the Human Rights Campaign and the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library.

            “I will miss his kind heart and generous spirit. It’s those qualities that made him such an inspirational figure and beloved part of our city.”