Mike Salinas
Mike Salinas
Mike Salinas, a theater reporter and noted gay activist, died in his Manhattan apartment on July 15. He was 46.

Though final autopsy results will not be available for several weeks, Salinas's sister, Star LaTronica, told TheaterMania that -- unbeknownst to her and to Brian Carmichael, her bother's partner -- Salinas was found to have had advanced heart disease and may have died of a heart attack.

Salinas was born in Iowa. At an early age, his desire to become a musical theater lyricist inspired him to initiate what turned out to be a long-lasting correspondence with Stephen Sondheim. After moving to New York 25 years ago, Salinas wrote two unproduced musicals. He was a contributor to The Village Voice and held a position as news editor at the New York Native before founding TheaterWeek magazine in 1988. More recently, he was employed as a news and feature writer by Back Stage and TheaterMania.com.

From 1992 to 1999, Salinas worked in San Francisco at the Bay Area Reporter, earning acclaim for both his theater-related stories and his writings on political issues and AIDS; the latter included his famous "No Obits" feature in 1998, marking the first week in 17 years that the paper had not run a PWA's obituary. Over the course of his career, Salinas was an outspoken proponent of gay and AIDS-related causes, pursuing such stories as corruption and mismanagement within AIDS organizations and sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

According to Back Stage news editor Roger Armbrust, "Mike had a long history in journalism and activism, and I think anybody who knew him professionally in those fields knew that he was dedicated to them. As far as my personal relationship with him, we not only worked together at Back Stage but we also took time to talk about our mutual interests in the arts. Mike was involved in everything from writing plays and songs to poetry. He was constantly energized by the arts, and by speaking and writing about them. It's a sad time for those who knew him."

Below are links to the news items and features Salinas contributed to TheaterMania: