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Jerry Rubin

From Academic Kids

Jerry Rubin (July 4, 1938 - November 28, 1994) was a high-profile social activist during the 1960s and 1970s.

Rubin was the son of a bread delivery man and union representative. It is said that he wanted to become second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds but the "system" dashed those hopes at a young age. Rubin grew up in the then upscale Avondale neighborhood of Cincinnati. He attended Walnut Hills High School, co-editing the school newspaper "The Chatterbox". While in high school Rubin began to write for the Cincinnati Post, compiling sports scores from high school games. He later went on to graduate from the University of Cincinnati, receiving a degree in Sociology.

Rubin's parents died within 10 months of each other making Rubin the only person left to take care of his brother, Gil Rubin. Jerry wanted to teach Gil about the world and decided to take him to India. When relatives threatened to fight his custody of Gil, based on his plans to go abroad with his brother, Jerry decided to instead take his brother to Tel-Aviv. Gil learned Hebrew and later decided to stay in Israel and moved to a kibbutz.

Rubin then decided to attend Berkeley in 1964 but dropped out to focus on social activism. Jerry's first protest was in Berkeley, protesting the refusal of a local grocer to hire African Americans. Soon Rubin was leading protests of his own.

Rubin organized the VDC (Vietnam Day Committee), led some of the first protests against the war in Vietnam, and was a cofounder of the Yippies (Youth International Party) with Abbie Hoffman, and Pigasus, the pig who would be President. He was an instrumental part in the disruption of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He, along with six others (Abbie Hoffman, Rennie Davis, John Froines, David Dellinger, Lee Weiner, and Tom Hayden; Bobby Seale was part of the original group but was excluded later) was put on trial for conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intention of inciting a riot. Julius Hoffman was the presiding judge. The defendants were commonly referred to as the "Chicago Eight", or the "Chicago Seven" after Seale's exclusion. The defendants turned the courtroom into a circus and although five of the seven remaining defendants were found guilty of inciting a riot, the convictions were later overturned on appeal.

Jerry Rubin's anti-establishment beliefs were put down in writing in his book Do it! Scenarios of the Revolution (Simon and Schuster, 1970, ISBN 067120601X), with an introduction by Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver and unconventional design by Quentin Fiore.

After the Vietnam War ended, Rubin changed his political views and become an entrepreneur and businessman. He died in 1994 when he was hit by a car in Los Angeles. He is interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.

In the motion picture about Abbie Hoffman, Steal This Movie, Rubin was portrayed by Kevin Corrigan.

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