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One of the new balloons in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was Keith Haring’s “Figure With Heart,” based on Haring’s 1987 ink on paper drawing “Untitled (Figure with Heart).”

Haring would have been 50 this year. He died of AIDS-related illness in 1990 when he was 31. Haring’s art has long been associated with the LGBT and AIDS causes. He was also a public artist in New York City, often doing dozens of works in the subway system in a day. One of his most famous works is the “Crack is Whack” mural on a handball court in the Harlem River Park. The mural, done as an illegal street work in 1986, was restored last year as a lasting reminder of Haring’s work in the city.

One of his dreams was to have a balloon in the Macy’s parade. It’s fitting the dream was realized in celebration of his 50th birthday. The balloon was manuvered down Broadway (including its impact with the NBC Broadcast booth) by Haring’s father and other family members.

You can learn more about Keith Haring’s at