Harry Leslie Smith: Anti-poverty activist and author dies in Ontario at age 95

Harry Leslie Smith/Twitter

Prominent anti-poverty activist and author Harry Leslie Smith has died in an Ontario hospital on November 28. He was 95.

Once referring to himself as "the world's oldest rebel," Smith spent decades advocating for the poor.

Born in 1923 in England, he grew up during the Great Depression, served with the Royal Air Force in the Second World War, and emigrated to Canada in 1953.

He wrote several acclaimed books, including Harry’s Last Stand: How the World My Generation Built Is Falling Down, and What We Can Do to Save It, published in 2014.

That same year, Smith’s address at a British Labour Party conference that described the harshness of life before that country established its National Health Service was so riveting it reportedly moved some to tears.

The global financial crisis of 2008 is credited to have sparked him to take what he chronicles in his book as his "last stand," writing, campaigning and, eventually, tweeting about income inequality, public services and the prospects for the future.

In 2017, Smith published his fifth book, Don't Let My Past Be Your Future, a work that has been described as a manifesto and survival guide for a new generation who need hope.

To listen to an interview with Harry Leslie Smith first published by rabble on November 29, 2014, click here.

 

Photo: Harry Leslie Smith/Twitter

 

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