Rosalyn was born in New York City on June 12, 1939.
Her father, Dr. Lewis M. Fraad, was chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Bronx Municipal Hospital, and Assistant Dean of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a part of Yeshiva University.
Her mother, Irma London Fraad, was a curator of Middle Eastern Art at the Brooklyn Museum.
Rosalyn Baxandall has two sisters, Harriet Fraad Wolff, born in August 1941, and Julie Fraad, born 1947.
Rosalyn ‘s maternal great-uncle, Meyer London, was a U.S. Congressional Representative elected on the Socialist Party ticket in 1915.
He was one of 50 Congressmen and six Senators to oppose U.S. entry into World War I. Rosalyn’s uncle, Ephraim London, a labor lawyer, was a distinguished civil libertarian and legal scholar.
She attended the Riverdale Country Day School and then Hunter High School, graduating in 1957.
After high school she attended Smith College for one year and then the University of Wisconsin-Madison from which she graduated with a major in French in 1961.
While at the university, she was active in a struggle for racial integration in housing.
At the university she met Lee Baxandall, to whom she was married from 1962 until 1978.
Their son, Phineas Baxandall, was born in 1967. She has two grandchildren, Julian, b. 1999 and August (Nellie), b. 2001.
After leaving Madison, Ros and Lee Baxandall spent some time in Germany, Hungary and Poland, where Lee pursued his interests in radical theater and European Marxism.
The experience solidified their convictions that the Soviet system did not offer an alternative.
Moving back to New York, she enrolled in the Columbia University School of Social Work from which she received a Master of Social Work (MSW).
After a 2015 diagnosis of incurable cancer, Ros left the hospital and held a party to say goodbye to the hundred attendees.
Rosalyn died on October 13, 2015.