Ron Woodroof

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Ron Woodroof
Born Ronald Dickson Woodroof
(1950-02-03)February 3, 1950[1]
Dallas, Texas
Died September 12, 1992(1992-09-12) (aged 42)
Dallas, Texas[2]
Spouse(s) Mary Etta Pybus (1969-1972), divorced[3][4]
Rory S. Flynn (1972-1973), divorced[5][6]
Brenda Shari Robin (1982-1986), divorced[7][8]
Parent(s) Garland Odell Woodroof (1917-1983)[9]
Willie Mae Hughes (1917-1996)[10]

Ronald Dickson "Ron" Woodroof (February 3, 1950 – September 12, 1992) was an American man who created what would become known as the Dallas Buyers Club in March 1988. After contracting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the 1980s, he created the group as part of his efforts to find and distribute drugs to treat HIV at a time when the disease was poorly understood.[11]

He sued the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over a ban on a drug he was using.[12]


Woodroof was born in Dallas, Texas, on February 3, 1950,[1] to Garland Odell Woodroof (March 17, 1917, in Texas - December 3, 1983, in Dallas)[9] and Willie Mae Hughes (November 25, 1917, in Oklahoma - November 19, 1996, in Dallas).[2][10][13]

His first marriage was to Mary Etta Pybus on June 28, 1969, in Dallas;[3] and they had a daughter Yvette Lynn Woodroof (born February 1, 1970).[1] They divorced on March 23, 1972.[4] On May 6, 1972, he married Rory S. Flynn in Dallas.[5] They divorced on May 21, 1973.[6] He then married Brenda Shari Robin on October 4, 1982, in Lubbock.[7] They divorced on March 4, 1986,[8] after he was diagnosed with HIV.

He had a mercurial personality. One reporter writes that "Woodroof took guns to his doctor’s office, prompting Dr. Steven Pounders to 'fire him as a patient.'" Woodroof later sent the doctor roses, and the doctor took him back.[14]

Some of his friends told reporters he was gay or bisexual.[15][16]

Accounts differ on whether he made homophobic comments. Reporter and screenwriter Craig Borten has said Woodroof was "as racist and homophobic as they come" while friends reportedly claim the opposite.[14]

Death and afterward[edit]

Seven years following his diagnosis of HIV, Ron Woodroof died on September 12, 1992 from pneumonia brought on by AIDS. Woodroof's final years became the basis of the 2013 film Dallas Buyers Club. He was portrayed in the film by Matthew McConaughey, who was critically acclaimed for his performance and won many awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actor.[17]


  1. ^ a b c Texas, Birth Index, 1903-1995
  2. ^ a b Texas, Death Index, 1964-1998
  3. ^ a b Texas Marriage Certificate Number 067216
  4. ^ a b Texas Divorce File Number 009120
  5. ^ a b Texas Marriage Certificate Number 055738
  6. ^ a b Texas Divorce File Number 020049
  7. ^ a b Texas Marriage Certificate Number 156836
  8. ^ a b Texas Divorce File Number 014037
  9. ^ a b Social Security Death Index Number 445-03-6878
  10. ^ a b Social Security Death Index Number 465-18-1334
  11. ^ Ron Woodroof The website. Retrieved 2014-07-09
  12. ^ "The Dallas Cowboy Behind The Real 'Buyers Club'". NPR. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  13. ^ 1940 United States Census: District 255-224, Family Number 207, Sheet Number and Letter 8A
  14. ^ a b Jacobson, Sherry. "The real story behind the 'Dallas Buyers Club' movie | Dallas Morning News". Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  15. ^ 02/06/2014 3:24 pm EST (February 6, 2014). "The Real Ron Woodroof 'Had Relationships With Gay Men,' Says A Friend Of The 'Dallas Buyers Club' Subject". Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  16. ^ Wickman, Forrest (2014-01-17). "Was Dallas Buyers Club's Ron Woodroof gay or bisexual? Friends and doctor say maybe, so why did the movie make him straight?". Retrieved 2014-07-09. 
  17. ^ "'We can't even look at him': Family of real-life AIDS victim played by Matthew McConaughey in harrowing new movie reveal the TRUE story of courage that inspired actor's 'breathtaking' transformation". Daily Mail. London. December 6, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2014.