Robert Eichberg; Psychologist, Gay Rights Activist
Robert Eichberg, 50, psychologist and gay rights activist who co-founded National Coming Out Day. Eichberg, who wrote a popular book titled “Coming Out: An Act of Love,” co-founded the annual Oct. 11 observance with Jean O'Leary in 1988. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Eichberg lived most of his life in Los Angeles, where he raised funds to assist AIDS patients, campaigned for gay rights and in 1982 briefly sought the Democratic nomination for the Hollywood-area Assembly seat. He also founded a political action committee for gay, lesbian and women’s rights advocates. In 1978, Eichberg established the Experience, a community-based workshop that encouraged people to reveal their homosexuality to family and friends. His book is often recommended reading for relatives and close associates of gays and lesbians. On Aug. 11 in Tesuque, N.M., of the complications of AIDS.