Michael Rossman, FSM Hero dies at 68
Photo credit: Paul Fusco, 1964
One of my personal heroes, Berkeley Free Speech Movement leader and lifetime community activist Michael Rossman died in Berkeley last week at the age of 68 from Leukemia (read the NYTimes obituary by Margalit Fox). The handsome and charismatic Berkeley graduate student looked a bit like Jack Kerouac. While never reaching quite the height of rhetorical power that his colleague Mario Savio achieved, Rossman was a stable "everyman" who spent much of the last three decades teaching science to Berkeley elementary school students.
Like other '60s activists, Rossman had family roots in the "old left." His father, who moved the family to Northern California in the 1950s, was the editor of the Labor Herald, the newspaper of California's Congress of Industrial Organizations.