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Minister and Malcolm X Aide Benjamin Karim

Benjamin Karim, center, talking with human-relations official Wally Bless in 1999, traveled the country as a Muslim minister to try to keep Malcolm X's ideas alive.
Benjamin Karim, center, talking with human-relations official Wally Bless in 1999, traveled the country as a Muslim minister to try to keep Malcolm X's ideas alive. (By Joe Mahoney -- Richmond Times-dispatch)

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From News Services
Monday, August 8, 2005

Benjamin Goodman Karim, 73, a minister and author and a right-hand man to Malcolm X during the civil rights movement, died Aug. 2 after a fall in Richmond, where he resided.

Mr. Karim, a native of Suffolk, Va., was working for a recording company in New York City in 1957 when he first heard Malcolm X. The charismatic Nation of Islam leader was speaking about the history of slavery.

In an introduction he wrote to "The End of White World Supremacy" in 1971, Mr. Karim said he joined the Nation of Islam soon after hearing the speech, beginning a lengthy association with Malcolm X that continued even after the leader left the Nation of Islam.

Mr. Karim stood in for Malcolm X at some appearances and introduced him Feb. 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, moments before the civil rights leader was assassinated.

Mr. Karim rejoined the Nation of Islam after Malcolm X's death and later received "Karim" as his last name, a son said. Mr. Karim traveled the country as a Muslim minister and spoke at universities and elsewhere, trying to keep Malcolm X's ideas alive.

He also wrote the tribute "Remembering Malcolm" in 1992.

In February, he visited the Audubon Ballroom for the first time since the assassination.

Survivors include his wife, Linda; five children; and 15 grandchildren.


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