OBITUARY -- Sheldon Herman Ramsdell (age 60)
Born: 8/31/1935 [Wells Town, York County, Maine]
Died: 3/25/1996 [San Francisco, California]
Published on Saturday, March 30, 1996, San Francisco Chronicle
Sheldon Ramsdell -- photojournalist, publicist & political activist who co-founded Vietnam Veterans Against the War in the 1960s -- died Monday at his home in San Francisco after a long battle with AIDS at age 60.
Since the early 1980s, Ramsdell had been an advocate for people with AIDS, gays & lesbians & for veterans. He was also an activist in the Democratic Party on labor union issues.
In 1967, Ramsdell was one of the founders of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, one of the most influential anti-war groups of the era, which in 1971 staged a dramatic march on Washington in which veterans tossed their medals over a fence onto the Capitol steps.
Ramsdell was a press aide for the veterans' group, and served in the same role for the presidential campaign of Senator Eugene McCarthy & New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug.
His photographs were exhibited in the New York Public Theater & on NBC TV's Today Show, and were published in a range of newspapers & magazines including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Esquire and Time.
He is survived by his parents, Herman & Louise Ramsdell, of Olgonquit, Maine; a sister, Shirley Suglia, of Shelton, Conn.; and brothers, Donald Ramsdell of Naples, Fla., and Glenn Ramsdell, of Wells, Maine.
Contributions may be made to The Restitution Project, 584 Castro Street 514, San Francisco 94114, a new organization dedicated to acknowledging the contribution of lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender veterans.