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Impactful Counterculture Reporter Dies Of Dementia Complications

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Kate Coleman, an effective and impactful left-wing activist and journalist who rose to prominence in the counterculture movement of the 1960s, has reported died at the age of 81.

Coleman reportedly died in a memory-care facility due to complications from dementia, a mental illness she had been fighting for quite some time. Coleman was best known for her reporting around University of California at Berkley.

She attended the University of California in the 1960s and was an extremely active member of the protests of the time. Her reporting, published by Newsweek and The Los Angeles Times as well as local outlets such as Ramparts and The Berkeley Barb.

The New York Times reports on her death,

Kate Coleman, an iconoclastic Bay Area journalist who began her career as a left-wing radical, writing about the patriarchy, politics and polyamory, then made enemies among her erstwhile comrades when her reporting cast a harsh light on the Black Panthers and the environmental movement, died on Tuesday in Oakland, Calif. She was 81.

For decades Ms. Coleman operated at the center of a fervid community of journalists and activists in and around Berkeley. Like her, most of them had attended the University of California in the 1960s, helping to define the campus as a hotbed of political and social activism.

Her subsequent writing career, most of it as a freelancer for anti-establishment publications like Ramparts and The Berkeley Barb as well as national outlets like Newsweek and The Los Angeles Times, tracked the transit of the American left through its many phases, from early idealism through violent extremism to late-stage disenchantment.

Like Eve Babitz and Joan Didion, she positioned herself as a young female writer who was both immersed in the moment and able to stand outside it, casting a gimlet eye on the ironies and excesses of America’s “left coast.”

New York Times

Coleman spent her life pursuing what she loved, and she was very successful in doing so. May she rest in peace.

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