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Dolores Neuman, 66; Photographer, Advocate

Dolores Neuman, photographer and promoter of independent films, worked for groups focused on women's rights, world peace and the environment.
Dolores Neuman, photographer and promoter of independent films, worked for groups focused on women's rights, world peace and the environment. (Family Photo)

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dolores Neuman, 66, a freelance still photographer and independent-film promoter who worked extensively for public interest and advocacy groups, died June 5 at the Washington Home hospice. She had kidney cancer.

For much of her career, Mrs. Neuman used her camera to document mass demonstrations, news conferences, congressional hearings, meetings and conventions for organizations focused on women's rights, world peace and the environment. Many of her images were published in mainstream newspapers.

She also was known for promoting the work of independent filmmakers -- documentarians and feature-film directors not affiliated with major studios.

She provided black-and-white still photography for "Northern Lights" (1978), an acclaimed independent feature film about North Dakota farmers in the early 20th century. Her still camerawork also was central to Rob Epstein's documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk" (1984), about the slain gay San Francisco supervisor.

Mrs. Neuman, who was living in San Francisco when Milk was killed in 1978, also spent many years working on publicity for independent-theater owners and distributors nationwide. In 1981, she was one of the "founding mothers" of the Jewish Film Festival.

Her second husband founded Covert Action Quarterly, a magazine critical of the U.S. intelligence community, and she was its photographic consultant for decades.

Dolores Sylvia Gaizband was a native Washingtonian and a graduate of Coolidge High School. She won many local swimming contests and at 14 narrowly missed winning the U.S. Olympic team trials in the 100-meter butterfly swimming event.

She was a 1963 graduate of the University of Maryland, where she also did graduate work in history. She studied photography at the Corcoran College of Art and Design.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, she taught elementary school in Washington and suburban Maryland. During this time, she helped develop an alternative elementary school that focused on non-rote learning and a tutorial reading program for inner-city youth.

Her other early work in Washington included helping start one of the city's first women's health clinics as well as administrating drug education and rehabilitation programs.

Her marriage to Alan Neuman ended in divorce.

Survivors include her husband of 26 years, Louis Wolf of Washington; a daughter from her second marriage, Emma Wolf of Bethesda; and a sister, Marilyn Gaizband of Annandale.

-- Adam Bernstein


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