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“Elite News” Founder, Civil Rights Activist Bill Blair Dead At 92

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Brian New
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Former baseball player, journalist, civil rights activist and Dallas native Bill Blair has died at the age of 92.  Blair passed away at his daughter’s home in Campbell, Texas.  He had been recently hospitalized for a month while battling a lengthy illness.

Blair is the founder of “Elite News,” the oldest African-American publication in North Texas, he served in the Army and pitched in the Negro Leagues.

According to his biography, Blair was the youngest black first sergeant to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II at 19 years old.

At the age of 25, Blair joined the Indianapolis Clowns, one of twelve Negro League baseball teams, as a pitcher.  He played for several other Negro League teams before retiring in 1951 due to an injury to his pitching arm.  Blair was later inducted into the Negro League Baseball Museum and the inaugural class of the African American Museum’s Texas Sports Hall of Fame.  Blair also toured with Jesse Owens and the Harlem Globetrotters.

Blair attended B. F. Durrell Elementary School and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School.

Memorial and funeral arrangements are pending.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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