One of the most prominent African-American political and business leaders in the U.S., Percy E. Sutton, died on Saturday at the age of 89, The Associated Press reported.
Sutton was known as an influential political leader in New York and served as the Manhattan borough president for 12 years. Among his other claims to fame were his arrest as a freedom rider; his representation of Malcolm X as a young lawyer; his help in rescuing the Apollo Theater; and that he was a member of the Tuskeegee Airmen.
U.S. President Barack Obama spoke about Sutton’s passing:
“Percy Sutton was a true hero to African Americans in New York City and around the country,” Obama said. “His life-long dedication to the fight for civil rights and his career as an entrepreneur and public servant made the rise of countless young African Americans possible.”
Sutton was survived by his wife and two children.Â A cause of death was not yet known.