LOS ANGELES — Mark Nagel, co-founder of the Grabby Awards and Grab Magazine, has passed away. He was 57.
Nagel, along with partner Stacy Bridges, founded the Grabby Awards in 1999. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the annual Memorial Day weekend event that celebrates gay erotica and also is known as the Grabbys.
The Chicago event is one of the granddaddies of gay porn, attracting hundreds of devoted fans from around the world celebrating the industry’s top talent.
Nagel also co-published with Stacy a bi-weekly LGBTQ publication for Chicago called Grab Magazine. Previously, both worked at Gay Chicago magazine, which later shut down after Grab was formed.
Nagel passed away Monday after a seizure in his bathroom. Nagel apparently fell after the seizure, according to Bridges.
Bridges told XBIZ: "Mark was an amazing friend and business partner who gave so much to the community. He will be greatly missed by me and his numerous friends and family."
The adult entertainment industry was in mourning after Nagel’s passing circulated this morning.
JC Adams, who reports for XBIZ and has covered the gay adult entertainment industry through the years, said: "Mark was relentless in his support and encouragement of the gay adult industry."
“He proudly carried on the legacy of the late Ralph Paul Gernhardt, aka Big Daddy Ferguson, with the Grabby Awards in Chicago every year. He was a big supporter in my early years in the biz and he remained an advocate," Adams said. "We spoke regularly; I know Mark was excited about the big anniversary year for the Grabbys in 2019.
“He paid attention to what was happening in gay adult and he believed in its models and filmmakers. He has moved on to new adventures now, but his loss is a terrible blow to our community. Rest in peace, Mark."
Holly Ruprecht, a Playboy executive who previously worked with Nagel, told XBIZ: “I worked with Mark Nagel during my time at NakedSword.com. His dedication to the industry was infectious. Always a pleasant man, with a mild manner he will was truly a legend."
“He will be missed. I am heartbroken to hear of his passing," she said.
Chi Chi LaRue, one of the hosts of the annual Grabby Awards, told XBIZ that, "With all the sadness in my heart I say goodbye to someone that was not only a friend to me, a great friend, he was also a friend to the entire gay adult industry."
"He loved each and everyone of us involved in this crazy world of porn, and he enjoyed nothing more than our numerous get together’s to celebrate our industry," La Rue said. "Mark will be greatly missed by his family and friends and so many of us in the gay adult industry!
"I spoke to you every day Mark and now I will speak to you every day with my thoughts. I love you so much and I will miss you more."
Trenton Ducati told XBIZ: “I am full of emotion today as we mourn the passing of Mark Nagel a true industry icon. I want to take this moment and give thanks to a man who has been nothing but kind and inspiring to me and our industry."
"I feel so blessed to have gotten the opportunity to be a part of his life," Ducati said. "I will always remember the advice he gave me and the pure energy and excitement he had for our industry. I love you Mark."
Via Twitter, Dominic Ford said: “Mark was an amazing man. This is a great loss for the entire industry and everyone who knew him.”
Via Twitter, Jack Hunter said: “Such a sad day for the industry, we lost agreat supporter and advocate to the gay adult industry. Mark Nagel of @GRABChicago and @Grabbys is no longer with us. He was so sweet and kind and I owe all my awards to him. We’ll miss you Mark!”