On his Facebook, Mr. Wider described himself as a "disabled, gay, Jewish, leftist, middle aged dwarf who ambulates with crutches."
Harry Wieder, a previous resident of the East Village neighborhood of New York City, began his activist career in the 1980's as a member of the vocal activist group Act-Up! and was profiled in Betty Adelsen’s 2005 book, The Lives of Dwarfs: Their Journey from Public Curiosity Toward Social Liberation. Mr. Wiedler continued to lose his hearing as time passed, but had been known to attend up to 8 meetings a day advocating. He was buried on April 30, 2010 after being struck by a taxi leaving a meeting of Community Board 3.