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Civil Rights Leader Harry Sykes Dies In Lexington

Reported by: Tom Kenny
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Updated: 11/28/2012 7:41 pm
A Lexington civil rights giant passed away Wednesday.

Harry Sykes died of natural causes, according to Smith and Smith Funeral Home.

He was 85 years old.

Sykes was the first black member of what was then called the Lexington City Commission.

He was first elected in 1963.

He served four consecutive terms.

He ran for Mayor of Lexington in 1971, the first black candidate for that office.

Sykes played two years with the Harlem Globetrotters after a remarkable athletic career at Kentucky State College, which is now Kentucky State University.

He was also a successful math teacher, insurance agent and real estate broker.

He is also credited with playing a significant role in easing tensions in Lexington following the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Junior.

As of this writing, funeral arrangements are incomplete at Smith and Smith Funeral Home in Lexington.

 
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