Labor and Civil Rights Leader LeRoy King, 91

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LeRoy King, prominent Bay Area labor and civil rights leader, has died at the age of 91.

 

King, who passed away on June 12, rose through the ranks of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) to become Regional Director of Northern California of the ILWU, until his retirement in 1993.

 

In 1980, he was appointed to serve on the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission by Mayor Diane Feinstein, continuing as a commissioner for over 30 years.

 

Reappointed by five mayors, he served on the commission until the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency in 2011.

 

King was arrested a number of times for acts of civil disobedience of behalf of labor and workers. Over the years, he received numerous awards, including the National Education Association Human and Civil Rights Award in 2009

 

Born in Fresno on Sept. 9, 1923, he was the youngest of six children. He attended a segregated school, alongside African American, Japanese and Latino students.

 

At the age of 17, he moved to San Francisco. He was drafted during World War II and fought in France in the Battle of Bulge.

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After leaving the military, he found work in 1946 as a warehouseman and became a member of the ILWU.

 

He married his wife Julia (Judy) Huggins in 1951. During their first year of marriage, they were evicted nine times being an interracial couple attempting to rent in San Francisco.

 

King rose through the ranks of the ILWU, becoming secretary treasurer of Local 6. He eventually became regional director of Northern California for the ILWU.

 

He is survived by his three children: Rebecca King Morrow, Carolyn King Samoa and LeRoy King Jr.; as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

 

Services will be held 10 a.m., Saturday, July 25 at the ILWU Local 10 hall, 400 North Point in San Francisco.

 

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