Black Panther Party Co-Founder Elbert 'Big Man' Howard Dead At 80

Black Panther Party Co-Founder Elbert 'Big Man' Howard Dead At 80

Black Panther Party Co-Founder Elbert 'Big Man' Howard Dead At 80

Source: Gabe Meline/KQED

Elbert “Big Man” Howard, a co-founder of the Black Panther Party, recently passed away at the age of 80.

Howard’s wife, Carole Hyams, said he died Monday in Santa Rosa, California, after a long illness. In addition to his wife, survivors of Howard include his daughter Tynisa Howard Wilson; grandsons Jaylen and Amin; stepson Robert Grimes and three step-grandchildren.

READ: A Biopic On Black Panther Party Co-founder Huey Newton Is In The Works

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. He served as a newspaper editor, information officer, and logistics genius behind the group’s popular social programs, according to the Pittsburgh Courier. During his time in the group, he also traveled across the world to set up chapters, including some in Europe and Asia.

He ended up leaving the Black Panther Party in 1974 after several key members also left because of years of fatal fights with police and each other.

“He was a beloved member,” Billy X. Jennings, a longtime friend and party archivist, said. “People might have had different grudges against Bobby or Eldridge (Cleaver), but nobody got a grudge against Big Man.”

Late last year came the announcement that Elaine Brown, the first and only woman to ever lead the Black Panther Party, is getting her own biopic based on her 1992 memoir A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story.

The adaptation will be produced by Robbie Brenner (Dallas Buyers Club) with The Firm’s Jeff Kwatinetz and Kevin McKeon. A writer has not been attached to the project yet.

Source: Pittsburgh Courier

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