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Ricky (January 28, 1977 – December 13, 1992), Robert D (January 27, 1978 – October 20, 2000) and Randy Ray (born June 3, 1979) were three hemophiliac brothers who were diagnosed with HIV in 1986. The media coverage following the burning of their family home and activism of the Ray family is often considered a signal event in the history of AIDS in the United States.
The sons of Arcadia, Florida natives Louise and Clifford Ray, were the subject of a federal court battle against the DeSoto County School Board to allow the children to attend public school despite their diagnosis. Although the Rays were victorious in their legal battle, the Ray home was burned down a week after the 1987 decision, forcing the family to leave Arcadia.
Ricky Ray died in 1992 at age 15. Prior to his death, he made headlines by planning to marry his 17-year-old girlfriend, but a judge blocked the wedding because of his age. Robert was 22 when AIDS claimed him in 2000. Shortly thereafter, their father, Clifford Ray, attempted suicide but failed. Randy Ray married in 2001 and lives in Orlando, Florida, and manages his HIV through medication.
- Donnelly, John. "Ricky Ray loses AIDS battle". The Miami Herald. 1992/12/14:
- Craig Basse and Mike Brassfield. "Robert Ray, 22, succumbs to longtime AIDS struggle". St. Petersburg Times. October 21, 2000
- Buckley, Stephen. "Slow change of heart". St. Petersburg Times. September 2, 20o1
- Thomas, Mike "Arson Cause Of Fire At Rays -- Boys Start School Today". Orlando Sentinel September 23, 1987
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