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Biography

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Photojournalist Sheldon (Shelly) Ramsdell, born on August 31, 1935 in Maine, served in the Navy, flying photograph missions over Indochina ca. 1955-58. He was honorably discharged in 1958. In 1967, he was one of the founders of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, one of the most influential anti-war groups of the era. In addition to photographing celebrities, Ramsdell served as chief press aide for Senator Eugene J. McCarthy's 1968 presidential bid, as well as for New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug. His photographs were published in periodicals including the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Esquire, and Time. He was also an activist in the Democratic Party on labor union issues. Since the early 1980s, Ramsdell was an activist on behalf of people with AIDS, gay men and lesbians, and veterans. He died March 25, 1996 in San Francisco after a long battle with AIDS.