Known for His Famous Brother, Orrin Bolton Was a Force of His Own

Orrin Bolton 1950-2023

Orrin Bolton, Michael Bolton's older brother, has passed away. He was 72.

On March 3, his son Oliver posted at Facebook:

"Yesterday afternoon, my righteous father Orrin ben Helen Lila began his journey home to be close to The Most High, G-d."

Bolton was Jewish.

His friend Natalie Alie wrote on Jan. 21:

"Orrin has been quietly battling for his health in Connecticut."

She quoted Oliver:

"Please pray for the recovery of my father  He was brought to the hospital last night."

On March 3, she noted:

"Orrin passed on. He is no longer in pain."

It's unclear what condition Bolton suffered from.

I met Orrin in the '90s when I worked at High Times. He visited us from New Haven often. He was a big cannabis advocate and a singer like his better known brother. Friends called him "OB."

In the video clip, Orrin discussed his advocacy:

"I'm a board member of Connecticut NORML. We are on the road in the United States to freedom. Take a first step and look through the myths and understand what has been denied you and many other people, myself included from the time I was a young lad. Cannabis law reform, medical-marijuana, decriminalization and, ultiimatly, legalization. It should be the right of every American. I wrote a song about it - it's called 'Freedom.'"

Orrin lived long enough to see cannabis legalized in his home state, then he checked out. 

Here are a couple of photos I took of him. 

This was taken near the former High Times office at 235 Park Ave. So. in New York. Orrin saw the stenciled pot leaf and decided to sit down and pose next to it.

Orrin Bolton performing at Tobacco Road in New York.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.