Kathy Boudin dead and obituary, 1960s radical imprisoned for fatal robbery, dies at 78

1960s activist Kathy Boudin, a member of the radical left group Weather Underground who was jailed for her part in a deadly robbery, has died at 78, according to her son Chesa Boudin. .

Pudding died Sunday with Chesa and her life partner David Gilbert by her side, according to a statement from the Columbia University Justice Center, which she co-founded. She has been battling cancer for many years.

Kathy Boudin

In 1981, Pudding and Gilbert participated in a robbery of a Brinks armored truck in Nyack, New York, while trying to raise money for the Black Revolutionary Organization, the statement said.

Pudding said she was just a bait and never owned a firearm. She pleaded guilty to one felony charge and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. She was released in 2003 after serving 22 years in prison.
“My mother fought cancer for seven years with unwavering optimism and courage,” her son said. “She always ends the phone with a smile, a habit she developed during her 22 years in prison, and hopes to bring joy and hope to everyone she talks to, especially me.”

Pudding, a 1965 graduate of Bryn Mawr College, was radicalized by the growing anti-war and racial rights movements in the 1960s and began her career as an activist, organizer, teacher and social justice advocate, the statement said. lifetime work.

Boudin became the first woman to earn a master’s degree while incarcerated in a New York state prison, the Justice Center said. After discharge, she received her Ph.D. in 2007 from Columbia University Teachers College and taught at the Columbia School of Social Work.

“In prison, Kathy underwent a profound transformation as she came to terms with her crimes and their consequences,” the statement said. “She became a leading advocate for women in prison, launching campaigns to reunite incarcerated women and their children. , brought college classes back to Bedford Hills after the Pell Fellowship ended, and built a community response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic that saved countless lives.”

Boudin’s “outward-looking moves became avenues for many to seek restorative justice, culminating in parole and release from prison.”

However, her release was not without controversy. As CNN reported at the time, police groups protested her parole and tried to prevent her release.

She spent her childhood in Greenwich Village, New York, with her father, renowned civil rights attorney Leonard Pudding. mother, poet Jean Boudin; his brother Michael Boudin is a retired federal appeals judge, the statement said. The family home was a meeting place for political activists, intellectuals and artists.

An avid reader and music lover, she was a beloved aunt and adoptive grandmother to dozens of young people, the statement said.

Her brother Michael survived. Her partner David, her son Chesa, her daughter-in-law Valerie Bullock and her grandson Aiden Pudding. Chesa’s two adoptive brothers, Zayd and Malik Dohrn, also survived. After her imprisonment, her then 14-month-old son was adopted by activists Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. After his release, Boudin worked with Ayers and Dohrn to raise his son.

“She is a role model for other generations, inspired by her thoughtful introspection, kindness and passionate determination to make the world a better place,” the statement said.