July 5, 2011
I share this news with deep sadness. My dear friend, mentor and colleague Fred Newman passed away a few minutes before July 3 turned to July 4, Independence Day in the USA. Fred was nothing if not fiercely and passionately independent culturally and politically. But not psychologically or socially. He lived his life joyously collectively and helped thousands of others do the same.
Fred had a long and serious illness, but he worked and gave and led and taught until his last days. I and hundreds of others will miss him terribly. His passion and commitment live on in the global community Fred gave his life to building.
Below is Fred’s obituary placed in the New York Times by the All Stars Project , which Fred co-founded with Lenora Fulani. In addition to his work with the All Stars, Fred co-founded the East Side Institute with me as a place to develop and share social therapeutics and postmodern Marxist performance practice/theory and, in turn, be developed by those with whom it is shared, no matter their culture, class or continent. This work, and all that Fred set in motion, continues unabated.
FREDERICK D. NEWMAN
NEWMAN–Frederick Delano. The All Stars Project Board of Directors and staff are deeply saddened by the passing of the All Stars’ extraordinary and much loved co-founder, Fred Newman, Ph.D. He was 76. Dr. Newman was born in the South Bronx, grew up in the shadow of the old Yankee Stadium (becoming a lifelong Yankees fan), and served in the U.S. Army in Korea. Upon his return he completed his undergraduate studies at City College and went on to earn his Ph.D. in analytic philosophy and foundations of mathematics from Stanford University in 1962, where he was mentored by the renowned analytic philosopher Donald Davidson. All who knew him will remember him as a fierce champion for giving the best, most sophisticated, most far- reaching tools of postmodern philosophy to ordinary people. He taught at several colleges and universities in the 1960s before dedicating himself to community organizing and the creation of numerous independent education, health, mental health, cultural and political projects in New York and nationally. Dr. Newman was a practicing therapist for more than 30 years and was the founder of a new humanistic psychology known as Social Therapy. The author of numerous books and articles on postmodern, Vygotskian, and performatory psychology, he and his colleagues worked to develop and popularize their breakthrough discoveries about human development. He co-founded the All Stars Project with Lenora Fulani, Ph.D. in 1981 to bring this new science of development to the lives of inner-city young people. He was the chief designer of the All Stars Project’s performance- based development approach, which has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of poor, Black and Latino youth across the country and is providing a new theoretical and practical framework for eliminating poverty and underdevelopment. Dr. Newman was artistic director and playwright-in-residence of the All Stars’ Castillo Theatre from 1989 until 2005. Often a lightning rod for controversy, Fred Newman was a relentless champion for a new style of progressivism. He was also a pioneer in the development of independent politics in the United States, starting in the 1970s, and had a major hand in the creation of the Independence Party of New York, playing a key role in the party’s endorsement of Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2001, 2005, and 2009. Despite serious illness, Dr. Newman was unflagging in his work. He will be deeply missed by the Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and countless young people and their families in our poor communities whose lives he and his work have touched. We extend our deepest condolences to Dr. Newman’s life partners Gabrielle L. Kurlander, who so ably serves as the All Stars President and CEO, and Jacqueline S. Salit, and to his children Elizabeth and Donald and granddaughter, Jane. As we mourn the passing of our founder and friend Fred Newman, his legacy of radical humanism, his commitment to community, to development and to creating ensemble performances live on through the work of the All Stars Project.
Published in The New York Times on July 5, 2011