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Civil Rights Leader Celes King Dies

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Los Angeles

Celes King, III, Retired Brigadier General, California State Senate Advisory Commissioner, and Los Angeles icon passed away Saturday, April 12, 2003 in the presence of his wife of 62 years, Anita Lugo King, and their family. A civil rights and business leader in Los Angeles for over 50 years, King dedicated his life to his family and his community.

King served his country as a Tuskegee Airman/Pilot in WWII, the City of Los Angeles as the First Commissioner of Human Relations, Co-Founder of the Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade, Co-Founder of the Los Angeles Rumor Control, Past President of the Los Angeles NAACP and a Martin Luther King Holiday Parade Commissioner, sponsoring the street name change from Santa Barbara Avenue to Martin Luther King Blvd. in September 1982. He was the founder and state chairman of the Congress Of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.) of California.

King was the founder and past president of the California Bail Agents Association and the Past National President of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States. He had a law degree and went on to receive his doctorate in Urban Planning from Pepperdine University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He was an Assistant Professor at Pepperdine University and at California State University, Los Angeles. As an Assistant Professor at Pepperdine, he created the Life Experience Credit Program designed to help employed persons with at least two years of work experience to further their education.

His leadership qualities, business knowledge, and political skills spiraled him to become one of the most influential and admired business, community, and political leaders in the history of Los Angeles.
Dr. Geraldine Washington, President of the Los Angeles NAACP stated: “Los Angeles and California’s citizens will dearly miss his larger than life persona, dedication to the community, and political clout. His passing is the end of an era from one of the heroes of the greatest generation.”

His family will continue his business tradition of service to the community. He leaves behind his wife Anita Lugo King, three children, seven grandchildren and a host of other family members.

Funeral services are pending. Visit www.celesking.com for details.

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