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Human Rights Watch mourns the death on June 1, 2012, of Marion O. Sandler, our dear friend and benefactor. Marion and Herb, her husband of 51 years, were key partners in the evolution of Human Rights Watch, issuing three multi-million dollar challenge grants over two decades that helped us to build an endowment, greatly expand the geographic scope of the countries we cover, and extend our advocacy and influence to emerging powers in the global South.

Marion, with Herb, was a caring and supportive mentor, yet one who was always probing, never shy about offering her invariably thoughtful and informed opinions, including critical ones. The Sandlers, life partners in business and philanthropy, acted as elder statesmen whose advice and experience from their own extraordinary business career helped our executive director, Kenneth Roth, guide Human Rights Watch through a dramatic expansion. Their early gifts helped to launch Human Rights Watch’s women's rights division and created a fellowship that introduces superb young human rights activists each year to our work. With time, they became central supporters of the organization’s global work. Their generosity – and their reputation as discerning investors who sought and supported effective organizations – inspired many other donors to Human Rights Watch.

We will miss Marion's friendship, generosity and wise counsel, and we will remember her with enormous gratitude. We extend our deepest sympathy to Herb, their children, and all her family and friends.

For additional information about Marion Sandler's legacy please visit

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