Gerson M. Green, 70, Activist for the Poor

Article excerpt

Gerson M. Green, 70, director of research and demonstration at the Office of Economic Opportunity, died of complications from a neurodegenerative disease Dec. 5 at his home in Philadelphia.

The OEO was the chief agency of President Lyndon B. Johnson's "war on poverty." Mr. Green, who worked at the agency from 1966 to 1969, was involved in the development and administration of more than 300 experimental programs, such as the Harlem Commonwealth Council, which helped poor people to own businesses.

After leaving OEO, he remained in Washington, working for several different organizations in the nonprofit sector for the next decade. He was director of program development for the University Research Corporation from 1969 to 1970. He was director of the National Neighborhood Institute of the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs from 1973 to 1978.

In 1980, Mr. Green left Washington to work as executive director of neighborhood development agencies in Hartford, Conn., and Philadelphia.

He returned to Washington in 1993 to serve as a regional director at the Corporation for National Service, overseeing the Americorps program in the Southwest. He retired in 1994 because of illness and returned to Philadelphia. …