HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Ray Hill is a lion in winter and he knows it.
"I'm beyond my, I'm past my due date," says Hill. "I'm 77 years old. I've had a great, fantastic productive life."
And with that, Hill's self-pity party is over because he remains a lion nevertheless.
Ray Hill has had an amazing life and that life is NOT over yet, despite having his third heart surgery and living in hospice care. Hill has fought and won many battles already. He was a closeted gay teen evangelist in the 1950s.
"I retired from evangelism because being gay sounded like a better idea," describes Hill. He came out of the closet and entered into a life of crime, becoming a notorious burglar.
"I stole what queers know about: antiques, art , jewels and electronics, such as they were in the '60s," explains Hill. He also says he burglarized the Sakowitz jewelry department and took everything without a serial number. He had five others in his crew and their biggest problem was where to stash all their cash.
Later in life, Hill also became a gay rights activist.
"When they busted me, it was a shock because I was in the public eye politically," adds Hill. "They were so busy watching my politics, they had no idea how I was making a living."
Four years later, Hill emerged a free man and started the "The Prison Show" on KPFT, making him an activist for inmates rights as well.
Hill rocketed to prominence in Houston with the murder of a banker in Montrose.
"When the police refused to investigate the death of Paul Broussard and I realized that we were going to have to solve it ourselves, that's when I went to the media and said, 'I have a story.'" But he admits he got the story wrong and it wasn’t a gay bashing attack..
Wracked by remorse, Hill worked to get one of the perpetrators released. He won that fight too.
Now Hill has another fight — to get out of hospice care and back to doing what he always does, fighting for others. That is after he does something for himself.
"I've got a goal now," says Hill. "I've got a paying gig at the Contemporary Art Museum. So you need a goal. Make a little money."