Ernie Lazar: By Filing as Many as 10,000 Freedom of Information Requests About Extremist Groups, He Proved Invaluable to Historians and Journalists

From a New York Times obit by Sam Roberts headlined “Ernie Lazar, Who Trawled for Secret Government Documents, Dies at 77”:

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 in Palm Springs, Calif.

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.