Memorial Service for Ed Chambers Announced

Ed Chambers, Memorial Service Information, Obituary

Memorial Service for Ed Chambers Announced

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Industrial Areas Foundation

Edward T. Chambers, long-time Executive Director of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), based in Chicago, Illinois, died peacefully in April 26 in Kilcoe. Skibbereen, Ireland, where he suffered from advanced Alzheimer's disease.

Mr. Chambers was named the successor to IAF founder Saul Alinsky in 1972 and led the IAF to become the premier community organizing network in the U.S. and around the world. Chambers was the lead organizer in many of the IAF organizing efforts in the 1950s and 1960s, including The Woodlawn Organization in Chicago and FIGHT in Rochester, New York. He then mentored an entire generation of organizers and community leaders in what he called "the skills of public life." He wrote a book on his methods titled "Roots for Radicals."

Chambers retired on January 1, 2010, after the onset of Alzheimer's and moved to Ireland, where his family maintains a residence. He was born in Clarion, Iowa, on April 2, 1930, and is survived by his wife, the artist Ann Martin Chambers, and their five children Eve, Mae, Joe, Lily, and William.

An interfaith memorial service will be held at 4:00 PM on Sunday, June 7, at St. Gertrude's Catholic Church, 1420 W. Granville Avenue in Chicago. For further information, call his publisher at 773-271-1030.

Condolences to the family can be emailed to  In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Ed’s name to an organization that helps people learn how to build grassroots power for the common good.