Mary Fisher is an artist, author, and speaker who travels the world advocating for those who share her HIV-positive status. She has reached hundreds of millions of people with her messages of courage, compassion and urgency, beginning with her 1992 keynote address at the Republican National Convention – a speech of which Norman Mailer wrote, “When Mary Fisher spoke like an angel that night, the floor was in tears and conceivably the nation as well.” More than a decade later, when American political scientists were asked to rank the 100 most important speeches in 20th-century America, they made Mary Fisher‘s Houston keynote a consensus selection.
Mary Fisher was a television producer and an assistant to the President of the United States before she gained international recognition as a leading chronicler of the global AIDS epidemic. Previously, she served as an ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), focusing especially on advocacy for women, girls and the disadvantaged. Her art work has been featured in one-woman and group shows and is found in distinguished private and public collections, including the permanent collection of UNAIDS in Geneva, Switzerland. Mary Fisher‘s words, photographs and art have filled five books.
In Africa, as part of her commitment to help HIV-affected women support themselves and their families, Mary Fisher has taught Rwandan and Zambian women to hand-bead bracelets brought to the U.S. market by Fair Winds Trading, Inc., through partnerships with O, The Oprah Magazine and Macy’s.com. In the United States, she is founder of the Mary Fisher CARE (Clinical AIDS Research and Education) Fund, a philanthropy that supports long-term research for the care of people living with HIV, especially women.