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Report: Larry Selman, 'The Collector Of Bedford Street,' Dies At 70

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A West Village fundraiser and neighborhood activist whose work was showcased in an Academy Award-winning documentary has died, according to a published report.

Larry Selman died of heart failure at the age of 70 Sunday morning, according to a New York Daily News report.

Selman, who was developmentally disabled, became known in the West Village for collecting thousands of dollars for charity, even though he himself lived near the poverty line.

His passion for fundraising was immortalized in the 2002 documentary, "The Collector of Bedford Street" – produced by his neighbor, Alice Elliott.

Larry Selman was born in 1942 and grew up in the East New York section of Brooklyn. He raised money for United Cerebral Palsy when he was 13 without any prompting or help from his parents.

"He does not feel attached to a particular charity," said the Web site for the 34-minute documentary. "He raises the money because he enjoys being part of something making a difference."

Selman later moved to an apartment on Bedford Street in the West Village, where he spent more than 40 years. He attended meetings of the Bedford-Barrow-Commerce Block Association, where he helped raise money year after year while continuing to love on government aid himself, the site said.

"The Collector of Bedford Street" documented Selman's efforts for fundraising. He is seen soliciting for the AIDS Walk, for which he raised $1,522 that year.

But the documentary also recalled that he was almost evicted from his apartment for allowing homeless people to come in and use his shower – causing flooding in the basement.

With Selman's uncle Murray no longer to take care of him, neighbors came together to establish an adult trust fund and make sure Selman could live independently.

The plan worked, and Selman ended up spending the rest of his days at the Bedford Street apartment, the newspaper reported.

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