Beverly Hills activist and philanthropist
Jean Sieroty, 102, an activist and philanthropist, died July 14 at her home in Beverly Hills, her family said.
Sieroty founded and sustained for more than 20 years an annual holiday art show to raise funds for the Westside Jewish Community Center. She also was a member of the Beverly Hills Fine Arts Commission.
Over the years, Sieroty hosted a variety of charity and political functions in her home with speakers who included Eleanor Roosevelt, Coretta Scott King and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. She was a founding member of a political group called Women For, her family said.
Sieroty also was an early proponent of civil rights, befriending black actors and artists such as Paul Robeson and working to support a variety of causes.
She was born Feb. 2, 1908, in Poland. Her father died when she was 6 and the family moved to Switzerland to join an uncle and aunt. She came to the United States at 13 with her mother and six siblings to live with relatives in Portland, Ore.
She graduated from the University of Washington in 1929 with a degree in theater arts. In 1930, she married Julian Sieroty, an executive with the Eastern-Columbia department store.
Their son, Alan, served in the state Assembly and Senate. Their daughter, Beth Sieroty Meltzer, is a mental health consultant.
— Times staff and wire reports