(Originally aired: 02-01-99)







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Guest for Monday April 19 (Originally videotaped 03-11-96)

                         HON PERCY SUTTON

                                         (1920 - 2009 R.I.P.)



       Civic Leader and Lifelong Civil Right Activist



                    Attorney for Malcolm X and His Family





                                     Communications Entrepreneur



                      Highly Principled Political Leader


The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxXATIV-Eik - Hon. Percy Sutton





Percy Ellis Sutton (November 24, 1920 December 26, 2009) was an American who was one of the nation's most prominent black political and business leaders. As a civil-rights activist and lawyer, he was a Freedom Rider and the legal representative for Malcolm X. He was the highest-ranking African-American elected official in New York City when he was Manhattan borough president from 1966 to 1977, the longest tenure at that position. He later became an entrepreneur whose investments included the New York Amsterdam News and the Apollo Theater in Harlem.[1] During the 1950s and 1960s, Sutton became one of America's best-known lawyers. He represented many controversial figures, such as Malcolm X. After the murder of Malcolm X in 1965, Sutton and his brother Oliver helped to cover the expenses of his widow, Betty Shabazz.[citation needed] Sutton's civil-rights advocacy took him even further in the minds of many. Being jailed with Stokely Carmichael and other activists endeared him to the Harlem community and showed many that he was willing to place himself in harm's way for his client's sake.[clarification needed] Sutton was a longtime leader in Harlem politics, and was a leader of the Harlem Clubhouse, also known as the "Gang of Four". The Clubhouse has dominated Democratic politics in Harlem since the 1960s. His allies in running the Clubhouse were New York City Mayor David Dinkins, U.S. Representative Charles Rangel, and New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson whose son, David Paterson, became New York Governor in 2008. He also was a life member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He served in the New York Assembly in 1965-1966.[6] He ran for borough president of Manhattan in 1965, and won with 80%[citation needed] of the vote. He served in that post until 1977, when he ran for the Democratic nomination for New York City Mayor against Bella Abzug, a former U.S. Representative; U.S. Representative Herman Badillo; incumbent New York City Mayor Abraham Beame; New York Secretary of State Mario Cuomo; and U.S. Representative Ed Koch; Koch won the nomination and mayoralty. In 1971, Sutton cofounded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation which purchased New York City's WLIB-AM, the city's first African-American-owned radio station.[7] Sutton served as an Auxiliary Police officer with the NYPD in the late 1970s.[8] He initiated[citation needed] the revitalization of the Apollo Theater in Harlem. He also produced It's Showtime at the Apollo, a syndicated, music television show first broadcast in September 12, 1987. Sutton is buried at the Gates of Heaven Memorial Cemetery in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. Awards and honors In 1987, Sutton was awarded the Spingarn Medal, an award presented annually by the NAACP for outstanding achievement by an African American.