Ron Palmieri, celebrity lawyer and LGBTQ advocate, dead at 71

Ron Palmieri, a larger-than-life figure in West Hollywood history, died Monday, Nov. 1.

He was 71.

Known to friends as “Big Daddy Ron,” Palmieri rose from humble beginnings in the Bronx to becoming a lawyer to the stars and a fierce advocate for LGBTQ rights and the fight against AIDS. He represented Hollywood luminaries such as Cary Grant and Zsa Zsa Gabor, and began his advocacy during Anita Bryant’s campaign to stop gay men from becoming teachers in the 1970s, a story he recounted in a 2012 interview with Frontiers Media.

“A leader has to have courage, you have to lack a certain degree of fear of reprisal and being rejected,” Palmieri said. “That’s what’s normally going to happen if you take firm positions.”

“He really had a passion for fighting for someone who had been wronged,” said his partner, Quinn Olson. “He was very proud of that.”

Palmieri was a graduate of the University of Southern California and Georgetown Law School.

“He was a skilled lawyer, with over 40 years as a trial litigator, and he didn’t suffer fools,” Olson said. “He was right all the time and would tell you so. Which was also almost always true, by the way.”

Before retiring to Palm Springs, Palmieri was known for frequenting WeHo clubs in a Rolls Royce limousine, dressed in full-length mink coats, a diamond-topped walking stick in hand, according to Olson.

“He was not afraid to show what he had worked hard to earn,” Olson said.

No funeral arrangements have been announced at the time of publication.

Ron Palmieri (left) and his parter Quinn Olson

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Pajerodu
Pajerodu
1 month ago

He definitely earned his nickname of big daddy. He taught me how to take the big D. He was a patient but firm Daddy and I’ll miss him!

Paul Norris
Paul Norris
1 month ago

He died in Mexico? There was no engagement announcements. Big Daddy made it known when he was getting married to his first husband. I am unaware of any engagement and I find no announcements. What the heck is going on?

Christopher
Christopher
4 months ago

I worked for Ron in the 1990s and he was a good boss. He was generous and kind and worked hard as an attorney. I will miss him dearly.

Chloe Ross
5 months ago

Condolences to all who loved him.

John
John
6 months ago

I am so sad to hear about Ron’s passing. He was a good man who was kind and generous. It was a privilege to have known him

Thom Cook
Thom Cook
6 months ago

Any new, updated details on the funeral?

DesertBob
DesertBob
6 months ago

I remember Ron from the No on 6 Committee to stop the Briggs Jnitiative. It was the first statewide victory for gay rights. Those were the days when we worked together and helped each other
…unlike today.

hifi5000
hifi5000
6 months ago

I don’t recall seeing the man in the clubs wearing mink coats or walking with a diamond-stubbed walking cane,but I do remember him on here making comments from time to time on subjects on Wehoville. May he RIP.

Last edited 6 months ago by hifi5000
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