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MARCH 2, 1923 -- APRIL 25, 2005

David T. Bazelon, a renowned author and social critic who taught at the University at Buffalo for 16 years, died Monday in a Madison, Wis., hospital. He was 82.

Mr. Bazelon was a professor emeritus of English at UB, where he taught from 1969 until his retirement in 1985.

The Shreveport, La., native was a writer, lawyer and educator. After graduating from Yale Law School in 1953, he worked as a corporate attorney. He quit practicing law in 1958 to devote himself to writing.

"At every stage of his career, Bazelon thought of himself first as a writer," according to a biographical note prepared by the Special Collections Department at the University of Delaware Library, which acquired his papers in 1996.

Mr. Bazelon contributed more than 100 articles, book reviews, stories and poems to periodicals beginning in 1943.

He was one of the "New York Intellectuals" whose work appeared in such journals as Commentary, Partisan Review, Dissent and Politics in the years following World War II. Throughout his career, Mr. Bazelon was associated with writers and intellectuals, including James T. Farrell, Saul Bellow, Irving Howe and Norman Podhoretz.

He worked as a writer and interviewer for "The Mike Wallace Interviews" on ABC during the late 1950s.

Mr. Bazelon published three books: "The Paper Economy" in 1963, "Power in America" in 1967 and "Nothing But a Fine Tooth Comb" in 1970.

He also wrote the script for "Point of Order," the 1964 documentary about the Army-McCarthy hearings, televised live for 36 days to an audience of 20 million during the early 1950s.

In 1966, he joined Bellow, Max Lerner and Julian Bond, among others, in writing a letter to the New York Review of Books, calling for the abolition of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which at the time had subpoenaed 11 anti-Vietnam War activists. It existed "only as an instrument to smear and intimidate those in our society who hold unpopular political views," the letter said.

Mr. Bazelon moved to Madison in 1998.

He is survived by a son, Coleman of Glenelg, Md.; two grandsons; and his longtime friend and companion, Luella Allen of Madison.

Services will be private.


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