Rose Freedman, grandmother of 20th Century Fox TV co-president Dana Walden, and who was the last living survivor of the infamous 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire in New York City, died Feb. 15 of natural causes at her home in Beverly Hills. She was 107 and was the first person to be featured on the recent PBS series, “The Living Century.”
She was known for her vitality and dedication to the union movement. As recently as last year she spoke at a seminar on unionism and had been studying her seventh language.
She was born in Vienna in 1893 and immigrated to the United States at age 15. Two years later, she barely escaped the fire that claimed 146 lives and raised America’s consciousness about poor labor conditions in factories.
Married 25 years to Harry Freedman, who ran a typewriter business, she later went to business school and at age 59 was hired by the Mark Cross pen company in New York. At age 64 she worked in public relations for Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and retired at age 79. She moved to Los Angeles in her 90s.
In addition to her granddaughter, she is survived by a daughter, two sons, seven other grandchildren and a great-granddaughter — Walden’s child.