Ralph Poynter is the son of a union organizer in steel. He was a founding member of The Teacher's Freedom Party Caucus in the UFT. Jailed during the human rights struggle for community control of schools in the sixties, he organized the first successful prison protest during incarceration. He supported recently deceased spouse Lynne Stewart in her lifelong struggle against the judicial double standard and successfully led the worldwide movement to free her from Carswell Federal Prison.