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Elaine Mitchell Attias ’45

December 4, 2018, in Los Angeles, California.

Filmmaker, journalist, and activist, Elaine identified with the less fortunate in society. She attended Reed and the University of Chicago, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. After university, she worked for the International Longshoremen’s Association and the legendary labor leader Harry Bridges. As a progressive activist in the late ’40s, she campaigned for Henry Wallace.

She married soon afterwards to Henry Attias and had two children she raised with great love and devotion. Elaine resumed her education at UCLA and received a graduate degree in theater arts. She produced several documentary films, including Italianamerican, an early effort of director Martin Scorsese, and was a freelance journalist published in newspapers including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. Social activism was a constant in her life and she was honored to have been included on President Nixon’s “enemies list.” Through it all, Elaine was beloved by many who experienced her graciousness, generosity, humor, and spirit. She is survived by her daughter, Jane Attias, and her son, Dan Attias.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2019

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