Larry King called into The Today Show this morning, siting Elizabeth’s four great loves:
1. Her family
2. Her charities
3. Her talent
4. Her jewelry
Elizabeth Taylor once said, “My mother says I didn’t open my eyes for eight days after I was born, but when I did, the first thing I saw was an engagement ring. I was hooked.” Hooked indeed! Most famously, Richard Burton gave Elizabeth an astounding 69-carat pear shaped diamond from Cartier in 1969. The legendary stone has gone on to be known as the Burton-Taylor diamond. Her collection of famous pieces also included the 33.19 carat Krupp Diamond and the La Peregina Pearl, both gifts from Burton which are immortalized in her book My Love Affair With Jewellery. Not one to get sentimental, she auctioned off many of her prized gems for charity, including her diamond and emerald engagement ring from Richard to raise money for AIDS research. This of course leads us to Taylor’s second love after family – her charities.
Elizabeth dedicated much of her later life to charity work and became one of the first celebrities to support AIDS research after the death of her close friend Rock Hudson, who died of the virus in 1985. Not only did she dive into the cause, but she advocated for the support of her Hollywood friends. Her efforts were supported by famous pals like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, with more recent collaborations with Elton John. In October 1991, Miss Taylor established The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF). With a focus on direct services for people living with AIDS, ETAF provides funding to AIDS service organizations throughout the world to assist those living with HIV and AIDS. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised funds for HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout the world, providing critically needed support services and prevention education.
In her passing, Elizabeth Taylor’s family, films, and jewelry will live on, but it is up to us to continue her fight against AIDS. Visit The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation to learn more about how you can continue the efforts of a great humanitarian.