Harvard honors Elton John for efforts to fight HIV, AIDS
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Elton John has been honored at Harvard University for his philanthropic efforts to fight HIV and AIDS.
The 70-year-old singer was awarded the Harvard Foundation’s Peter J. Gomes Humanitarian Award at a ceremony Monday.
Previous winners include former South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Secretaries General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, Kofi Annan, singer Rihanna and Malala Yousafzai.
John says he lost friends to AIDS, and regrets not doing more to help as he battled addictions early in his career.
He says his life changed when he met Ryan White, an Indiana teenager who became the poster child for HIV awareness during the 1980s AIDS crisis.
“I promise you, we can rise above it and lift people up. We can pull together, we can change the world. It all starts with embracing our common humanity. It’s the most powerful force on earth,” said John in his acceptance speech.
John’s AIDS foundation has raised more than $300 million for HIV- and AIDS-related programs since it was established in 1992. NVG
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