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Sean's Legacy: An AIDS Awakening

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A Father Remembers His Only Son

by Robert Hopkins

Robert Hopkins is not jusy any father -- he was a CIA career officer, a man trained to keep secrets. He grew up among the privileged and the powerful; his own father, Harry Hopkins, was a pivotal adviser to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Nothing in Robert Hopkins's life, however, prepared him to face his gravest ordeal: the death of his son and only child, Sean, at age 26.

Days after Sean graduated from college, the first tests revealed he was HIV positive. Over the next four years, he and his mother and father fought AIDS with every means at their command. During their battle, Sean and his parents found support from friends, priests, and medical staff. They also endured misunderstanding, fear, and ignorance, and a health-care system that revealed appalling lapses and soaring costs. Through it all, however, comes a message of hope and heroism.

Robert Hopkins was proud of his son. As his parents' only child, Sean was given the best education, remarkable travel experience, and special opportunities to develop his many talets. By his early teenage years, however, he was already finding ways to seek comfort with others who realized they were different; who knew they were gay; who could not tell those who loved them most.

It was not easy for Hopkins to write this book. But the need became overpowering to tell Sean's story on behalf of millions of others suffering his pain -- and most of all to help families and religious communities to reach out to victims of AIDS.

What is Sean's legacy? It started as the Hopkinses brought together Sean's friends, many of whom had been abandoned by their families. It has become Robert Hopkins's eloquent plea to the clergy, political leaders, and medical professionals to deal more openly and compassionately with the painful subjects of homosexuality and AIDS. Through this book, the legacy continues. Above all, this moving paternal memoir was written to bring together other fathers and sons, in the hope that the problems they find hard to talk about will become bonds, not barriers.

Hardback book, 174 pages

ISBN: 9780892438754

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Sean's Legacy: An AIDS Awakening

Sean's Legacy: An AIDS Awakening