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Ernie Lazar, FOIA Expert and Prolific Government Document Researcher, Dies

The New York Times: “Ernie Lazar, an unheralded hero of researchers who mined his vast digital and documentary archive of government records on political extremists to invigorate their books, articles and arguments and to warn against “it can’t happen here” complacency, died on Nov. 1 at his home in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 77…Mr. Lazar estimated that more than three million people around the world had accessed his encyclopedic digital library found in the Internet Archive, Wikipedia and other sites while pursuing their independent investigations into political organizations ranging from the Communist Party USA to the virulently anti-communist John Birch Society. He culled those records after submitting what he said were some 10,000 Freedom of Information Act requests to the F.B.I. and other sources and made them available at no cost to historians, authors, journalists, doctoral students, debaters and the incurably curious, either online or through a hard-copy paper library…”

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