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September 2013 Group Watch: Rep. Demetrius Newton Passes

Demetrius Newton, a civil rights attorney who represented icons like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. before becoming the first black person to serve as speaker pro tem of the Alabama House of Representatives, has died at the age of 85. Newton was a former city attorney for the city of Birmingham and served in the legislature since 1986. In the legislature, he was an outspoken critic of the state’s 1901 Constitution, which he described as too long and out of date. Governor Bentley, who served with Newton in the House, described him as a true gentleman and an effective public servant. Colleagues past and present voiced sadness over his death and praise for his distinguished career. Demetrius Newton will be missed, but we are glad we got to know and work with this fine person.

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