American leftist activist and former member of the radical organization Weather Underground, Kathy Boudin, died Sunday afternoon at her home In New York. According to reports, the 78-year-old had been battling cancer for the past 7 years.
Her death is a heavy blow in the movement spaces, as she was well-loved and deeply respected for her work around labor movements, the abolitionist movement, as well as her work to help free political prisoners.
Boudin spent 22 years in prison for her participation in the infamous 1981 Brink’s armored truck robbery, in which a guard and two police officers were killed right outside of New York City.
She was released in 2003 after expressing remorse for the robbery and being a model prisoner for over two decades.
After her release, she continued to be a positive influence on inmates and former inmates.
Boudin grew up in New York City around parents who fought for change, so the radical spirit was in her blood from an early age. Her father was a civil rights attorney named Leonard Boudin, and her mother was named Jean (Roisman)Boudin.
Kathy attended Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and was valedictorian of her class in 1965. Her passion for social justice and change began to blossom after college and Boudin started to follow the anti-war and racial justice movements of the 60’s very closely.
She eventually became an active member of the radical leftist organization Weather Underground, a left-wing militant organization founded on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan.
In 1981, Boudin served as the getaway driver during the Brink’s robbery and pleaded guilty to felony murder and robbery.
After her release in 2003, Boudin received an Ed. D. from Columbia University Teachers College and was named an adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work.
Her son Chesa Boudin told AP that his mother is the true definition of a redemption story.
“She, as a mother, offered not only unconditional love and pride but also a model of how to live redemption and own responsibility for horrific mistakes without allowing them to entirely define her life,” he said during an interview.
Many took to social media to express thoughts on the untimely loss.