Sylvia S. Lazerow, 87, painter, writer, activist

April 22, 2005

Sylvia S. Lazerow, a painter, poet and writer who had been active in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s, died in her sleep Sunday at Roland Park Place. She was 87.

She was born Sylvia Sugar at her family's Appleton Street home and attended Western High School.

"She dropped out of school during the Depression because she needed a job to help support her family. She got a job selling insurance door to door in West Baltimore," said her daughter, Alexandra J. Lazerow of Mount Washington. "During the 1930s and 1940s, she was part of the local leftist, intellectual, artistic crowd."

Mrs. Lazerow was an abstract expressionist painter during the 1950s, and her work was displayed at the Baltimore Museum of Art and in area galleries. In the late 1960s, she gave up painting and began writing poetry, some of which was published in The Sun. She also had short stories published in literary journals and the City Paper.

She also was a prolific contributor of letters to the editor of area newspapers, her daughter said.

Mrs. Lazerow had been an active member many years ago of the American Friends Service Committee and coordinator of the Baltimore chapter of the U.S.- China People's Friendship Association. She enjoyed traveling in France.

She lived in Mount Washington for more than 40 years, and since 2002 had been a resident of the Roland Park retirement community.

She was married for 38 years to Samuel Lazerow, a noted medical librarian who was senior vice president of the Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia. He died in 1983.

Services were held yesterday at the Bolton Street Synagogue.

Mrs. Lazerow is also survived by a son, Jama Lazerow of Chestnut Hill, Mass., and four grandchildren.

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