Duke Comegys; Philanthropist, Fund-Raiser
Duke Comegys, 55, activist, philanthropist and fund-raiser for gay, lesbian and AIDS causes. Comegys headed the endowment effort of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center and organized the center’s major donor group, the Silver Circle. Current center Executive Director Lorri L. Jean praised Comegys’ skill as a national fund-raiser for gay, lesbian and AIDS causes, a skill she said was “matched only by his own generosity as a contributor.” Comegys helped organize AIDS Project Los Angeles and the earlier gay and lesbian political action committee known as MECLA. He had served as co-chair of the board of directors of the national lobbying and political action group called the Human Rights Campaign Fund. Comegys, who tested positive for HIV in 1988, helped create the Philip Mandelker Clinic, forerunner of the current Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic for AIDS patients. The Texas-born Comegys attended the University of Texas, Columbia and Harvard Law School. On Monday in Los Angeles of complications following gallbladder surgery.