Ryan White Files
The Ryan White Files is a collection of news articles that have been clipped and saved in the Genealogy & Local History Department at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library in Kokomo, Indiana.
The actual newspaper clippings are beginning to deteriorate and with the often high demand of requests to photocopy the articles, it was decided that this collection should be digitized and made available for public access on both the Internet and on CDs.
We realize the collection is not comprehensive nor complete, but rather reflects the simple collecting of news articles from local staff and volunteers while the events unfolded.
Why Ryan White’s story captured the attention of the media:
On December 6, 1971, Ryan White was born to Hubert & Jeanne (Hale) White in Kokomo, Indiana. Shortly after his birth, he was diagnosed with severe hemophilia. In 1984, at age 13, Ryan White was diagnosed with AIDS. He contracted HIV through blood-based products used to treat his hemophilia.
The community responded in fear of AIDS and the HIV virus which were new to the world at that time. Ryan gained international notoriety fighting for his right to attend school. In 1987, Ryan and his family moved to Cicero, Indiana, where he enrolled in Hamilton Heights High School.
During the time between his diagnosis and his death on April 8, 1990, Ryan was featured on numerous television shows and magazine covers. He was also the subject of a television movie about his life. He became friends with world-renowned athletes and entertainers. Ryan was described by Ted Koppel as “an extraordinary young man; brave, tolerant, and wise beyond his years.”
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