Dorothy Epstein

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EPSTEIN-Dorothy. Longtime activist, organizer, feminist and entrepreneur died on May 25, 2006 at the age of 92. She was independent, strong willed, generous, a fighter for causes she believed in, and the first woman to achieve many of the positions she held. Born in the Bronx in 1913, she graduated from Hunter College in 1933. Grateful for her free education at the college, she created the first endowed chair at that institution, and was an active member and contributor to its Scholarship and Welfare fund. She worked at the Department of Welfare where she organized the first sitdown strike and later became the first female local president at DC37. She worked for Russian War Relief and the American Labor Party and developed the Furriers' union dental clinic. Later she went into private industry and was the first female president of a vitamin production company, Synergy Plus. When she retired at age 76, she became a senior activist, first as president of the Hudson Guild Senior Center, then as the founding director of the Institute for Senior Action, a program which trains seniors to advocate for their needs. She is survived by her brother Donald of Pittsburgh and her son, Robert Jacobson and his partner Marilyn Gelber, of Brooklyn. A funeral will be at the Riverside Chapel at Amsterdam Av. & 76th St. on Sunday at 11:30AM. In her honor, contributions can be made to the Dorothy Epstein Legacy Fund, JPAC for Older Adults, 132 W. 31 St. NYC 10001.
Published in The New York Times from May 27 to May 28, 2006
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