Gay circuit-party impresario Jeffrey Sankerowner of the Los Angeles-based White Party Entertainment companydied May 28 after a long battle with liver cancer, the Los Angeles Blade reported. The Blade said Sanker was 65, although WeHoVille.com stated he was 62.
Sanker had built his company and reputation on hosting large-scale but sometimes controversial parties in exotic places, including Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco, Mexico; Las Vegas; and Miami. (Windy City Times noted that earlier this year, Sanker was criticized for holding a large party in Mexico during the COVID pandemic.) However, although his trademark extravaganza, White Party Palm Springs, had evolved into the nation's largest gay dance music festival, attracting more than 30,000 attendees from every corner of the globe.
Former West Hollywood City Councilmember John Duran noted, "Jeffrey was a long time friend. He was an iconic figure in gay history with his creation of the White Party. For many gay men, he created a space for them to find their tribe and sexuality."
Lady Gaga, Carmen Electra, Jennifer Lopez, Icona Pop, Kelis, Kesha, Deborah Cox and Boy George are among the luminaries who have appeared at Sanker's events. Famous DJs such as Junior Vasquez, Victor Calderone, Freemasons and Tony Moran performed at his parties.
Sanker also staged and produced fundraising events on behalf of numerous charities and community organizations, including Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH), The Trevor Project and Desert AIDS Project.
In 2014, Sanker received a star on the "Palm Springs Walk of Stars."