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Virginia Malbin


Virginia Malbin

Malbin, Virginia. b. 1913, AMB, University of Chicago, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Married to Barney Malbin, Initially served as a social worker resettling orphans and displaced children, during her second time in Spain she assisted her husband, d. December 10, 2008, Portland, Oregon.


Sources: ALB 274 Virginia Malbin Papers; Harriman; (obituary) ALBA Listserve; (obituary), Oregonian December 23, 2008.


In 1937, Virginia Malbin joined the international effort to aid the Spanish Republic, which was under siege by fascist forces. In her early 20s and a recent Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Chicago, she already was a seasoned community organizer. Malbin aided Spanish social services in resettling refugee children. Returning to the United States, Malbin went on a speaking tour to raise funds for relief efforts. In 1938 she joined her husband Barney in Spain, a physician working near the front. She assisted with evacuating wounded internationals. With the defeat of the Republic and the start of World War II, the couple returned to the U.S. Barney served as an Air Force flight surgeon; Virginia cared for her two young children and continued her work in anti-fascist organizations. After World War II, the family settled in Portland, Washington. They were part of a vibrant community of labor organizers, artists, educators, and left-leaning people from all walks of life. Virginia worked for Child Welfare in Portland, then soon after her husband's death in 1959, left for graduate school at the University of Southern California. After obtaining a master's degree in social work, Virginia won a grant for a project that challenged San Francisco's practice of incarcerating indigent elderly in state mental hospitals. From 1967 until retiring in 1977, Virginia taught community organizing and grant writing at San Francisco State University. Part of Virginia Malbin's legacy was to inspire others to work for the same causes that shaped her life: economic justice, equal rights, civil liberties, peace.

ALB Archival Materials

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Virginia Malbin. Photo by Richard Bermack.

Virginia Malbin at San Francisco Monument Dedication, March 30, 2008. Photo by James Fernandez.

Full Database Record

Last Name Malbin
First/Middle Name Virginia
Ethnicity Note
Immigration Status
AKA Last Name 1
AKA First / Middle 1
AKA Last Name 2
AKA First / Middle 2
Foreign Nation
Foreign Nation City
Alt Pob State, City
Family: Name
Family: Relationship
Family: Begin Date
Family: End Date
Family: Comments
Education HS
Education College / Univ 1
Education College/Univ Notes
Education College/Univ 2
Graduate or Doctoral Work
Graduate or Doctoral Work Notes
Prior Military Service
Passport #
Passport Series
Passport Reported Lost in Spain
Passport Age
Passport Date
PP or Known Address Street
PP or Known Address City
PP or Known Address State
ALT City
Alt State
Sail Date
Marital Status
Marital Notes
Vocation 1
Vocation 2
Vocation 3
Party Affiliation
Date Affiliation
ALT Affiliation
ALT date
ALT affiliation 2
Arrival (in Spain) Date
Units served with
Battle action
Returned Date
Returned other
WWII Service
Place Died City
KIA/MIA/Died other
KIA/MIA/Died other Date
KIA/MIA/Died other Location
KIA/MIA/Died other Battle
Additional Notes