City remembers former Philadelphia NAACP president Jerry Mondesire

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City officials are reacting to the sudden passing of former Philadelphia NAACP president Jerry Mondesire. (WPVI)

City officials are reacting to the sudden passing of former Philadelphia NAACP president Jerry Mondesire.

The longtime journalist and community activist died over the weekend at age 65.

Mondesire left the NAACP under a cloud of suspicion last year, but he's being remembered as a true champion for the African-American community.

Mondesire started out in Philadelphia as a hard-nosed newspaperman. He graduated to political insider and eventually NAACP activist where his profile grew. He frequently served as a pundit on 6abc's Inside Story.

On Monday, many of his friends and supporters remembered the 65-year old Mondesire who succumbed to a brain aneurysm after struggling for years with kidney disease.

"He spoke truth to power wherever it was with unvarnished truth. He didn't sugarcoat anything," District Attorney Seth Williams said.

"He was fiery, very smart, and he kept things moving," Councilwoman Marian Tasco said.

Despite his illness and ouster from the NAACP leadership post, he kept on publishing his Sunday Sun newspaper where he regularly attacked his enemies and praised his friends who at times were on the outs with him based on the issue.

Many remember him with fondness and respect.

"There were a lot of people who did not get along with Jerry, he had that kind of effect on folks because he was very much in your face, but he was always in your face about trying to do the right thing," State Senator Vincent Hughes said.

"We've worked together and we have done the opposite at times. Jerry was someone who really challenged you to examine your beliefs," Councilwoman Cynthia Bass said.

"Jerry Mondesire was a person who gravitated towards those who were weak and he lent his strength to them," Councilman David Oh said.

Jerry Mondesire loved the rough and tumble of big city politics; he thrived on playing hardball. His friends, his adversaries, and indeed the entire town will miss him.
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philadelphia newsNAACPhospitalCenter City Philadelphia
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