Kathy Boudin, who as a member of the novel Climate Underground of the Nineteen Sixties and ’70s took half within the murderous 1981 holdup of a Brink’s armored truck after which, in jail and after being freed twenty years later, helped inmates struggling to get their lives on observe, died on Sunday in New York. She was 78.

The trigger was most cancers, stated Zayd Dohrn, whose household adopted Ms. Boudin’s son, Chesa Boudin.

On a March day in 1970, Ms. Boudin was showering at a townhouse on West eleventh Road in Greenwich Village when an explosion collapsed the partitions round her. She and fellow extremists had been making bombs there, the meant goal believed to have been the Fort Dix Military base in New Jersey. Three of them had been killed on the spot. A unadorned Ms. Boudin managed to scramble away with a colleague and located garments and temporary refuge on the residence of a lady dwelling down the block.

She then disappeared.

Inside a number of years, so did the Climate Underground. A breakaway faction of the leftist College students for a Democratic Society, it known as itself Weatherman, borrowing from “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” a 1965 Bob Dylan tune with the lyric “You don’t want a weatherman to know which manner the wind blows.” The identify advanced into Climate Underground.

In that period of turbulence over civil rights and the more and more unpopular Vietnam Battle, the group set off bombs at the USA Capitol, New York Metropolis Police Headquarters and different buildings. If something, it was more proficient at issuing lengthy manifestoes, laden and leaden with references to Karl Marx, Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh, and asserting the world’s “essential wrestle” as being that “between U.S. imperialism and the nationwide liberation struggles towards it.”

With the Climate Underground fading by the mid-Seventies because the struggle ended, its leaders, one after the other, emerged from hiding to face the authorized penalties of getting been on the F.B.I.’s most-wanted listing.

Not Ms. Boudin (pronounced boo-DEEN). “The very standing of being underground was an id for me,” she recalled years later in interviews with The New Yorker on the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County, N.Y., the place she got here to be imprisoned. She continued: “I used to be making a distinction by no means, so then I elevated to nice significance the truth that I used to be underground.”

That led to October 1981, when she teamed up with armed males from one other radical group, the Black Liberation Military, to carry up a Brink’s truck in Rockland County, N.Y., making off with $1.6 million. In the course of the stickup, the gunmen killed a safety guard, Peter Paige. They transferred the money to a U-Haul truck that was ready roughly a mile away. Ms. Boudin was within the cab of the truck, a 38-year-old white lady serving as a decoy to confound law enforcement officials trying to find Black males.

The U-Haul was stopped by the police at a roadblock. Ms. Boudin, who carried no weapon, instantly surrendered, fingers within the air. However gunmen jumped from the again of the truck and opened fireplace, killing Sgt. Edward J. O’Grady and Officer Waverly L. Brown. Although some accused her of surrendering as a tactic to get the police to decrease their weapons earlier than being attacked, Ms. Boudin insisted that that was not the case.

Greater than a half-dozen suspects had been captured, and most got jail phrases lengthy sufficient to quantity to life sentences. Amongst them was David Gilbert, whom Ms. Boudin married after their arrests and with whom she had a son, Chesa, who was 14 months outdated on the time of the Brink’s job. Divorced whereas in jail, they reunited in 2021 after Mr. Gilbert’s 75-year sentence was commuted and he was freed. Chesa Boudin, reared by a Climate Underground couple, Bernardine Dohrn and Invoice Ayers, was elected San Francisco’s district lawyer in 2019. Each her husband and son survive her.

After rounds of authorized wrangling, Ms. Boudin pleaded responsible in April 1984 to first-degree theft and second-degree homicide within the loss of life of Mr. Paige. Although unarmed and never even on the scene the place the guard was killed, the choose agreed with prosecutors that she bore duty, and sentenced her to a jail time period of 20 years to life.

At her sentencing, she turned to the victims’ relations. “I do know that something I say now will sound hole, however I lengthen to you my deepest sympathy,” she stated. “I really feel actual ache.” As for her motives, “I used to be there out of my dedication to the Black liberation wrestle and its underground motion. I’m a white one who doesn’t need the crimes dedicated towards Black folks to be carried in my identify.”

She proved to be a mannequin prisoner at Bedford Hills, mentoring different inmates, attending to these with AIDS, writing poetry and expressing regret for her position within the Brink’s theft deaths. In September 2003, after 22 years behind bars, she was freed on parole.

Not everybody was happy. Diane O’Grady, Sergeant O’Grady’s widow, wrote in The New York Submit that she didn’t “consider there’s a shred of guilt, disgrace or regret felt by inmate Boudin.” However Ms. Boudin had ample assist, together with from a number of Bedford Hills staff. Even the arch-conservative William F. Buckley Jr. signed a letter to the parole board asserting a perception in “the probabilities of human rehabilitation and transformation.”

In a 2004 article for {a magazine} known as Fellowship, written earlier than leaving jail, Ms. Boudin stated she had come to “totally embrace the enormity of my human duty: I supported and was a part of a theft that risked after which destroyed human life.”

A 1965 graduate of Bryn Mawr, she obtained a grasp’s diploma in grownup training and literacy from Norwich School whereas in jail after which, 5 years after her launch, a doctorate from Academics School at Columbia College. Submit-prison, her work targeted on current and former inmates, particularly girls, serving to them get parole and getting ready them for all times on the surface, right down to fundamentals like comport oneself in job interviews.

She was additionally a founding father of the Middle for Justice at Columbia, exploring the social penalties of mass incarceration. What many individuals fail to understand, she stated in a 2021 interview for this obituary, is that “there are large assets ready to be realized in those that are too typically outlined as throwaway folks.”

Kathy Boudin was conversant in radical politics virtually from her start in Manhattan on Could 19, 1943. Her father, Leonard B. Boudin, was a civil rights lawyer with an inventory of shoppers that amounted to a left-wing Who’s Who, together with Paul Robeson, Daniel Ellsberg and the antiwar physician Benjamin Spock. Her mom, Jean (Roisman) Boudin, was a poet. Her great-uncle was Louis Boudin, a outstanding civil rights lawyer, and an uncle was the liberal muckraking journalist I.F. Stone.

Moreover Mr. Gilbert and her son, she is survived by her son’s two adopted brothers, six grandchildren and her older brother, Michael, a retired federal appeals courtroom choose and a political conservative, Mr. Dohrn, one of many adopted brothers, stated on Sunday.

Ms. Boudin attended the Little Pink Schoolhouse and Elisabeth Irwin Excessive College in Greenwich Village, graduating in 1961. In her senior yr, she visited Cuba, a rustic she traveled to once more in 1969 with fellow radicals.

At Bryn Mawr she majored in Russian research, receiving her bachelor’s diploma in absentia as a result of she was learning in Moscow. In summers she labored in a hospital, at a camp for handicapped youngsters and at a blood financial institution. Later, she grew to become a group organizer in Cleveland.

Her militancy steadily grew. She joined the “Days of Rage” in October 1969, a window-smashing rampage by way of Chicago’s Gold Coast district by antiwar militants. She and others had been charged with conspiracy and violation of anti-riot legal guidelines, circumstances in the end dismissed on grounds that the federal government had obtained proof unlawfully. Round that point, she co-wrote “The Bust Guide,” which provided recommendation on what to put on to an illustration and what to do if arrested.

In hiding after the townhouse explosion, Ms. Boudin assumed varied aliases and took low-paying jobs in New York, together with as a waitress and as a catering firm worker at the USA Open tennis match in Queens. She was “very sociable,” an organization official stated.

Then got here the Brink’s holdup. “Regret will at all times information me,” she wrote for Fellowship. “It’s a very private journey with stops alongside the best way. It’s a street with no finish.”

Alyssa Lukpat contributed reporting.