Percy Sutton, a leading civil rights advocate for the Africa-American community and lawyer to another civil rights leader Malcom X, has died at the age of 89.

Entrepreneur, lawyer and civil rights activist Percy Sutton has died at the age of 89 but the cause of death is unknown, according to the Associated Press. Sutton, who was the son of a former slave, was a prominent and influential New York politician and broadcaster.

During his entrepreneurial years, Sutton helped revitalize Harlem by renovating the famous Apollo Theater and other landmarks that have made the little city famous. In his early days, Sutton was the leader of the Harlem Clubhouse, which dominated Democratic politics in Harlem.

New York Governor David Paterson issued a statement, reports CNN, “Percy was fiercely loyal, compassionate and a truly kind soul. He will be missed, but his legacy lives on through the next generations of African-Americans he inspired to pursue and fulfill their own dreams and ambitions.”

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the peak of the civil rights movement in the United States, Sutton became the country’s most notorious lawyer as he represented Malcolm X. In 1987, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People awarded Sutton the Springarn Medal for his outstanding achievements.

Jesse Jackson said that Sutton was his political mentor and actually advised him to start his campaign in 1984, “He never stopped building bridges and laying the groundwork. We are very glad to be the beneficiaries of his work.”

President Barack Obama called Sutton a true African American hero in New York City and in the country, “His life-long dedication to the fight for civil rights and his career as an entrepreneur and public servant made the rise of countless young African-Americans possible.”

This man knew what he was talking about, watch the video below as Mr. Sutton talks about leadership