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SCLC President Creecy dies at 57

With the annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference less than two weeks away, the civil rights group is pressing forward in the wake of the death of the Rev. Dr. Howard Creecy Jr. NNPA News Service

With the annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference less than two weeks away, the historic civil rights group is pressing forward in the wake of the death of the Rev. Dr. Howard Creecy Jr., who died last week (July 28), seven months after taking office.

Creecy, a longtime civil-rights activist and father of two, died in the early morning hours at his home in Atlanta.  He was 57. While the cause of his death was not immediately clear, his family suspected he suffered a heart attack.  An autopsy has been commissioned, the SCLC said in a statement.

“We thank the community for the outpouring of compassion and condolences during this difficult time,” Creecy’s wife, Yolanda Grier Creecy and his family said in a statement.

Creecy was elected president of the civil rights group in January after Bernice King, daughter of the organization’s founder Dr. Martin Luther King, declined the position.  He had previously served as interim president of the conference, which was founded in 1957.

Isaac Newton Farris Jr., the nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., will now assume the role of interim president.

“We are shocked,” Farris said. “As far as I knew, Howard was in great health.  He has been my lifelong friend; this news hits me at my core.  Howard has been a prophetic leader who deeply inspired me along with countless others across this great nation and world.  From his inspired leadership, which revitalized the SCLC, we will work to continue on the path that he and leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. lay before us.”

Creecy’s funeral will be in Atlanta on Saturday. SCLC’s annual convention is scheduled for Aug. 14 and Aug. 15 in Atlanta.

(Special to the NNPA from the AFRO-American newspapers)

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