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Civil Rights Leader Wyatt Tee Walker Dies; Worked Beside MLK

Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker

Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker (l.) pictured with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (DAN FARRELL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

CHESTER, Va. (AP) — The Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker, who helped assemble the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail” from notes the incarcerated King wrote on paper scraps and newspaper margins, has died.

He was either 88 or 89. Family records showed different years of birth, said his daughter, Patrice Walker Powell, who confirmed his death.

Powell said her father died Tuesday morning at an assisted living facility in Chester, Virginia.

Walker was brought in by King to be the executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, three years after the civil rights organization was founded.

He already was a top civil rights leader in Virginia, where he had led a “Pilgrimage of Prayer” in Richmond against school segregation on New Year’s Day 1959.

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