Working against discrimination, Roth served as a Miami Beach city councilman for two years and as vice mayor for four years during the Fifties. His extraordinary memory for events has led him to pen a book about his experiences. His passion for collecting, particularly newspaper articles that document major events dating back 70 years, has resulted in his amassing more than a million pieces. He has made large donations to the national archives of the Anti-Defamation League (part of the group since 1931, he's its longest-serving member) and will bequeath part of his collection to the Ziff museum, where he sits on its board of directors.
Along with locals Seth Bramson and Dr. Paul Drucker, Roth will participate in the program Florida Jewish Collectors Discuss the Art of Hatred this Thursday. As a lifelong crusader for equal rights, it's something he's glad to do, as was lending his items for what he considers one of the museum's most important exhibitions. "This points out the ways in which there has been hatred directed against Jews and blacks and other groups," Roth says. "And this exhibit shows how unhealthy and un-American, and undemocratic, and un-everything is the hatred."