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Hattoy worked in the White House under American President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1999. He also served as chairman of the research committee of the Presidential Commission on HIV/AIDS, having himself been diagnosed HIV positive in 1992. He won renown as an outspoken critic of presidents Clinton, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush for their policies on issues such as conservation, the response to HIV/AIDS, and the ban on gay or bisexual men and women serving openly in the U.S. military. According to the New York Times Hattoy was "the first gay man with AIDS many Americans had knowingly laid eyes on."
In 2002 he started working for the California Fish and Game Commission. He was appointed president of the commission in February 2007, shortly before his death from AIDS-related causes.
- California game commissioner, former White House aide dies
- Bob Hattoy, 56; witty and outspoken advocate for the environment, AIDS research