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Herbert E. Selwyn


1925 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Herbert E. Selwyn Obituary
April 25, 1925 - February 3, 2016 Los Angeles attorney Herbert E. Selwyn has died after a long illness, surrounded by his family. Born in Hollywood to Leo and Lily Seligmann, he graduated from Fairfax High School, enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served in England, France and Germany during World War II. He studied at UCLA, graduated from USC Law School and was admitted to the California Bar in 1950. Herb worked as a criminal defense attorney for many years, taught courses at various local law schools and in recent years did arbitration and pro bono work. His passion was the struggle for civil rights, which included a deep opposition to the death penalty. He was counsel for the ACLU on many cases, helped write the ACLU's policy on gay rights in the 1950s when few were willing to take up this issue, worked to incorporate the first gay organization and obtain a permit for the first gay pride parade, both in Los Angeles. His work is honored in a number of books and documentaries. Herb enjoyed tennis, loved music, reading, travel, good food and wine. He was a great storyteller. Also a member of MENSA and the Plato Society at UCLA. He cared deeply about social and economic justice and passed this interest onto his children. He leaves a powerful legacy behind and will always inspire us. He was predeceased by his son Christopher, and leaves behind his wife of 29 years, Lidia, his children Pamela, Brian (Bashka), Jennifer (Judy McGann), grandchildren Sara and Matthew Selwyn and Christopher McGann, all of whom will miss him very much.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Feb. 13 to Feb. 14, 2016
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