Robert Meeropol is the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were wrongfully executed at Sing Sing Prison on June 19, 1953 after being convicted as "spies" who conspired to "steal the secret of the atomic bomb" and give it to the Soviet Union. Orphaned at six, Mr. Meeropol has spent the last 30 years as an activist, writer, and speaker. He received undergraduate and graduate degrees in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, taught college, and became a lawyer. In 1974, Mr. Meeropol and his brother Michael initiated a national campaign to reopen the Rosenberg case. They forced the release of 300,000 previously secret documents about the case, and won $200,000 in legal fees. In 1990, Mr. Meeropol founded the Rosenberg Fund for Children, a public charity which provides for the educational and emotional needs of children whose parents have been harassed, injured, jailed, fired or killed in the course of their progressive activities. All of his lecture fees are payable to the Fund. Mr. Meeropol's credits include the book We Are Your Sons (with Michael); numerous articles; recent national television appearances on The Today Show and The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder; as well as many other appearances, including lectures at prominent universities and at hundreds of other community groups, synagogues, colleges and churches across the country.
From college campuses to religious institutions, the death penalty has become a hotly debated topic, along with the rising tide of violence and intolerance. Robert Meeropol connects the execution of the Rosenbergs in 1953 with the politically and racially motivated use of the death penalty in the United States today. He draws connections to the highly publicized case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Philadelphia journalist and political prisoner who currently faces execution despite world-wide protests and ongoing legal efforts to have him granted a fair trial. The title of Mr. Meeropol's lecture will be "The Death Penalty: The Rosenbergs and Mumia Abu-Jamal".