NCAC Censorship News Issue #102:

Roz Udow (1926 – 2006): An Appreciation

    Roz Udow was a member of NCAC’s Board and editor of Censorship News for more than 20 years until her death on May 29, 2006. She was a passionate advocate, deeply committed to free expression and her work at NCAC, but she was able to write about the issues with a degree of detachment, humor, and a light touch – which made CN engaging, amusing, and accessible, as well as an invaluable source of information. As we prepare this issue, we are reminded how much she’ll be missed. We cannot duplicate her style, only carry on in the tradition of dedication and excellence that she established.

    Roz engaged life fully and passionately. She founded a local chapter of the League of Women Voters in her home town of Great Neck; she was the first woman to serve on the Great Neck planning board, and went on to become its chair; she also chaired the local school board and the board of trustees at Nassau Community College. All this she did in her spare time, as a volunteer. She served as Director for Government Policy Affairs at Planned Parenthood of NYC and as Regional Director for People for the American Way. About the same time she came to NCAC, Roz began a second (or third or fourth) career as a working artist with a particular interest in printmaking.
    Roz brought the same energy to her work at NCAC. She researched tirelessly for Censorship News, so that readers could get an accurate “bird’s-eye” view of the leading issues of the moment. She had a finely tuned moral compass, and was invariably on target in her assessment of the issues and trends.

    She could also be provocative. One headline about an art censorship incident involving a sculpture of a bishop, which was criticized because of the phallic shape of the Bishop’s miter, asked “Has His Penis Gone to His Head?”
    Roz was funny and fierce. She also made world-famous eggnog, which was the hit of holiday parties. Roz was not just a presence at NCAC, she was an inspiration and role model, because of her passion, commitment to public service, and devotion to friends and, most of all, her husband Al, her daughter Marianne and son Hank, and her extended and devoted family.
    She leaves her mark on our work, and on our lives.

    — The board and staff of NCAC

    Contributions in Roz’s honor can be made to the Roz Udow Fund at NCAC.