Here is Al, sketched “without my permission!” as he put it, after a dinner party. Today is his birthday, and he has a life of unusually useful work to celebrate: years as a Civil Rights Movement lawyer in the South (the stories he can tell!), and many more years leading the ACLU’s National Prison Project. He’s usually on the road somewhere, fighting for prisoners’ rights, the abolishing of torture, and the improvement of dreadful prison conditions in the U.S. and all over the world. (He believes prisoners are human beings, which is not a universally shared opinion.)
Although Al may look like (and can be when necessary) Mr. Tough Guy, which has certainly come in handy in his work, under that rough-hewn exterior beats the heart of a cupcake. Maybe that’s a clue to his choice of profession. Also he’s an awesome chef. Happy Birthday, Al! I know you won’t have to bake your own cake.