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In Memory: Martin “Mickey” Rosen

Martin "Mickey" Rosen. Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Martin “Mickey” Rosen. Photo courtesy of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Martin “Mickey” Rosen, 79, a St. Louis social worker who started a feeding program for women and children and other humanitarian initiatives, died from a heart attack on April 1 just 16 days before getting a lifetime achievement award from his alma mater Washington University.

According to a St. Louis Post Dispatch obituary Rosen’s father, an immigrant from Ukraine, died when he was just three years old and the family struggled financially.

Rosen ran out of scholarship money and enlisted in the Army during the Korean War to get funds to finish his education.

He was en route by boat to Korea when the war ended. Rosen went on to earn a master’s degree in social work at Washington University.

Besides a food program Rosen started programs for rat control, lead control, the earned income tax credit, and education and employment. When he retired from the St. Louis Human Development Corp. in November, 2000, the city proclaimed it “Mickey Rosen Day.”

After he retired Rosen was a part-time lecturer in the social work program at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and  executive director of a philanthropy at the Mildred Simon Foundation.

“He could have been a very successful business person.” his cousin Marvin Rotenberg said. “Instead, he chose to work with poverty. And he should be recognized for what he’s done.”

Rosen is survived by his wife of 46 years Adrienne, five daughters, two sons and nine grandchildren. Washington University will present his achievement award to his family.

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