Civil rights pioneer Athalie Range dies

Nov. 16, 2006 at 2:07 AM
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MIAMI, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- M. Athalie Range, a civil rights pioneer who broke race barriers in Florida government in the 1960s, has died of cancer at 91.

The Miami Herald said Range "went from cleaning railroad cars in segregated Miami to advising the White House and scores of state and local power brokers."

In the 1960s, she became the first African-American woman to be elected to the Miami Board of Commissioners. She went on to become the first black to hold a high-level state post as director of Florida's Department of Community Affairs.

She was later appointed by the White House to serve on the National Railroad Passenger Corp.

The newspaper said Range, who was born in Key West in 1915, launched the careers of several of today's black leaders, including former U.S. Rep. Carrie Meek, D-Fla.

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