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The man could barely care for himself, yet collected hundreds of thousands of dollars, usually $1 or $2 at a time, to help others even less fortunate than himself.

He had an eventful and in some ways remarkable life, filled with the daily struggles of a man whose I.Q. was said to be 62 but who was determined to live independently. He managed to achieve his goal, in a sense, by taking responsibility for other people: those more vulnerable than himself.

Mr. Selman’s life would have remained invisible except for his outsize talent for connection. It earned him friends in the Village, including Alice Elliott, the director of “The Collector of Bedford Street,” which was nominated for an Academy Award.
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