Monday, November 28, 2011
Sixties Activist Jerry Rubin Jaywalks Wilshire Blvd. to His Death 1994
Jerry Rubin (July 14, 1938 – November 28, 1994) was an American radical social activist during the 1960s and 1970s. During the 1980s, he became a successful businessman.
Rubin played an instrumental role in the anti-war demonstrations that accompanied the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago by helping to organize the Yippie "Festival of Life" in Lincoln Park and speaking at an anti-war rally at the Grant Park bandshell on August 28, 1968. Violence between Chicago police and demonstrators (which an official government report called a "police riot") eventually led to the indictment of Rubin and seven others (Abbie Hoffman, Rennie Davis, John Froines, David Dellinger, Lee Weiner, Tom Hayden, and Bobby Seale) on several charges of conspiracy and incitement to riot.
The defendants were commonly referred to as the "Chicago Eight." Seale's trial, however, was severed from the others after he demanded the right to serve as his own lawyer and was sentenced to four years in prison for contempt of court, making the Chicago Eight the Chicago Seven. Rubin, along with the six other defendants, was found not guilty on the charge of conspiracy but guilty (with four other defendants) on the charge of incitement. He was also sentenced by the judge to more than three years in prison for contempt of court. All the convictions for incitement were later thrown out by an appeals court, who cited judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. Most of the contempt of court citations were also overturned on appeal.
After the Vietnam War ended, Rubin became an entrepreneur and businessman. He was an early investor in Apple Computer.
On November 14, 1994, Rubin jaywalked on Wilshire Boulevard, near UCLA in Los Angeles, California. It was a weekday evening and traffic was heavy, with three lanes in each direction. A car swerved to miss Rubin but a second car, immediately behind the first, was unable to avoid him. He was taken to the UCLA Medical Center, where he died 14 days later. He is interred in the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California.