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Volume 73, Number 29 | November 19 - 25, 2003


Glad Patterson, secretary, antiwar activist, was 72

Glad Patterson, a longtime Christopher St. resident who was active in the movement against the Vietnam War and was an assistant to Rex Harrison and high-profile writers, died at Cabrini Hospice on Nov. 1 at age 72. The cause of death was lung cancer.

According to her friend Leslie Taylor, Patterson was born in Toronto and came to New York City in 1953, where she lived at 87 Christopher St. Patterson was a regular at the Lion’s Head tavern on Christopher St. during its heyday. During the Vietnam War, she arranged for buses to leave from the bar to go to a major antiwar protest in Washington, D.C. According to Taylor, news columnist Dennis Duggan was among those who made the trip. “She was part of the gang putting daisies in the guys’ rifles,” another friend, Raymond Bilak said. “She made friends with some Lincoln Brigade members down there.”

Patterson was an executive assistant to actor Rex Harrison and his wife, Pamela, and also to bestselling writers Gail Sheehy, author of “Passages,” and Alvin Toefler, author of “Future Shock.”

Bilak said that the same organizational ability that made her a top secretary was the reason she was also her tenants association president.

Although she wasn’t part of any political club that Taylor could recall, she said Patterson was active in politics and an early political supporter of Ed Koch. In fact, Patterson couldn’t even vote, because she was not a naturalized American citizen. She worked for John Lindsay’s campaign for Congress and he in turn personally sponsored her when her green card came up for renewal, Bilak recalled. Two years ago she finally got her American citizenship, and celebrated with a party for 200 people at the Kettle of Fish, the former Lion’s Head.

A week before Patterson died, Erik Williams from WBAI radio met her in the 55 Bar, where she was breathing from a special oxygen apparatus. He interviewed her in her apartment about her life, and the 11-minute segment ran on WBAI.

Patterson was divorced and had no children and no immediate survivors. She was cremated at Redden’s Funeral Home on W. 14th St. “She told me to put her ashes in envelopes and send it to all her boyfriends — she had a lot of boyfriends,” Bilak said.

There will be a farewell party at the 55 Bar and Grill, at 55 Christopher St., on Nov. 23, from 3 p.m.-7 p.m.


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