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Rose Nader, 99; Author, Teacher, Activist, Mother of Ralph Nader

January 24, 2006|From Associated Press

Rose Bouziane Nader, a Lebanese immigrant and author who raised a family of civic activists -- including her son, consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader -- has died. She was 99.

She died Friday at her Winsted, Conn., home "peacefully and in no pain" just 18 days before her 100th birthday, Ralph Nader told Associated Press on Monday. The cause was congestive heart failure.

"It's just breaking us up," Nader said. "The heart that's been beating since 1906 couldn't make it until [Feb. 7]. She put a lot of forces into motion directly and through her children that I think created a lot of improvement in our country."

Born in Zahle, Lebanon, she became a high school teacher of French and Arabic. She married Nathra Nader in 1925 and immigrated to the United States a short time later, settling in Danbury, Conn., and then in Winsted, where the couple raised four children. Her husband, a businessman, died in 1991.

Rose Nader was active in adult education in Connecticut. Her first son, Shafeek Nader, who died in 1986, was the principal founder of Northwestern Connecticut Community College. Rose Nader was involved in Peace Action and Co-op America and served as president of the Shafeek Nader Trust for the Community Interest.

In 1991, she wrote "It Happened in the Kitchen," which explained her philosophy of raising children and the connection between good food and diverse family dinner conversations.

Her son Ralph founded numerous consumer groups, including the Public Interest Research Group and the Center for Auto Safety. In 2000 he was the Green Party presidential candidate. He ran for president in 2004 as an independent.

He recalled his mother's advice when entering the national political scene.

"She always said if you think there's anything more difficult than becoming well-known in our country, it's learning how to endure it," Nader said.

In addition to her son, she is survived by two daughters, Dr. Claire Nader of Winsted and Washington, D.C., and Laura Nader of Berkeley; a sister, Angele Bouziane Mokhiber of Pittsburgh; three grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

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