GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A Martin County native who was the inspiration for the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center at East Carolina University has died.

Peel passed away Thursday in Atlanta, according to the center’s Facebook page. He was born on March 8, 1940, in Everetts and spent years as an advocate and activist. It was a gift by him and his mother in 2014 that established the center at ECU, which is the largest of its kind in the UNC system, according to his bio on ECU’s website.

The bio listed Peel as a UNC Chapel Hill graduate who also completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He spent years after serving in the military at a practice in Atlanta that served gay men during the AIDS epidemic.

He and his mother established the J. Woolard Peel University Scholars Award, a way to remember his father. They were also among the first 10 families to help establish what would be known as the EC Scholars program, according to his bio.

A funeral was set to be held in Atlanta. ECU will hold a celebration of life at a later date, according to the center’s Facebook page.