James C. Hormel served as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg from 1999 to 2000. His newly released memoir is Fit to Serve: Reflections on a Secret Life, Private Struggle and Public Battle to Become the First Openly Gay U.S. Ambassador.
Born in Austin, Minn. in 1933, Jim graduated from Swarthmore College and from the University of Chicago Law School, where he later worked as assistant dean and dean of students. In three decades of philanthropy and activism, he has been instrumental in advancing equality and helping people affected by HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and breast cancer. He also helped establish the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library. He currently serves on the boards of the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Foundation, People for the American Way, Commonwealth Club of California, Grace Cathedral, and Swarthmore College. Currently chairman of the investment firm Equidex, he lives in San Francisco, Calif.