Robert Lee Rayford

Robert Lee Rayford

Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Death 15 May 1969 (aged 16)
Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Burial Berkeley, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 211508940 View Source
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Robert was the son of Joe Bell and Constance Rayford, and was a brother to George. He was the grandson of Percy and Sadie Rayford (MS). He was the nephew of Percy, Arlene, Elizabeth, and Gene, all of MO.

Robert was one of the earliest patients with HIV in the United States. He presented at Barnes-Jewish Hospital early in 1968 with symptoms that baffled doctors at the time. He passed away late in the evening or early in the morning May 15-16, 1969.
Autopsy included the taking of tissue samples that were tested and re-tested in the 1980's. These tests returned evidence in 1987 that young Robert had been exposed to the HIV virus.

He died of pneumonia, but his main diagnosis was (incorrectly) lymphedema.

He is remembered and his memory is honored.

Family Members