Black Panther Party co-founder Elbert "Big Man" Howard dies
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elbert "Big Man" Howard, a co-founder of the Black Panther Party who served as newspaper editor, information officer and logistics genius behind the group's popular social programs, has died at age 80.
His wife, Carole Hyams, says Howard died Monday in Santa Rosa, California, after a long illness.
Friends and family described Howard as a "gentle giant" who could paint in words what a jazz song was saying. Howard was an author, volunteer jazz disc jockey, lecturer and activist in Sonoma County, where he later made his home.
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Howard was one of six people who founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in Oakland in October 1966, along with Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. The political organization started out patrolling police for possible abuse against blacks.