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Alice McGrath, who changed the world

December 6, 2009 | 11:31 am

Alice McGrath The Times' Carlos Valdez Lozano writes about his friend, longtime activist Alice McGrath, who played a key role in the efforts to overturn the convictions of 12 Mexican American men for murder in the infamous 1940s Sleepy Lagoon trial. McGrath died Nov. 27 at 92.

"If they lose, I lose. We all lose," said the character of Alice in Luis Valdez's celebrated play, "Zoot Suit," which was based on the trial. "I am not Lady Charity trying to help the Mexicans -- I am doing this for us."

Lozano says McGrath "was no pistol. She was a cannon. She had a serious mind and focused on serious things, but she also liked her vodka martinis and had a wit to match Dorothy Parker's."  You can find the story here.

-- Keith Thursby

Photo: Alice McGrath in 1981. Credit: Los Angeles Times