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Ovide Duncantell, the living legend who presided over the Black Heritage Society has died. He was 82.

Duncantell was a noted activist in the city of Houston upon his arrival in 1959, fighting for the rights of Hispanics and Blacks across the city. In 1974, he founded the Black Heritage Society and one of his first missions was changing the name of the street located in Houston’s Third Ward to Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. The move was so respected, King Jr.’s father, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. gave his blessing and served as the Grand Marshal for the first MLK Parade in 1978.

The MLK Parade has gone on ever since and earlier this year, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner officially deemed it the official MLK Parade in the city of Houston.

“Ovide Duncantell and I ran for County Commissioner in 1984 and we both came up short. However, his commitment to the community and holding people accountable never waned,” Mayor Turner said on Twitter. “[He] was the force behind the Black Heritage Society & the Black Heritage Society was deeply rooted in him. With the Black Heritage Society, he honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by organizing MLK Parade & many other events surrounding MLK weekend. The MLK Parade this January sponsored by the Black Heritage Society and supported by the City of Houston will be extra special as we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and remember and thank Ovide Duncantell for living a rich life of service.”

RELATED: Leela James To Serve As Grand Marshal Of 40th Annual “Original” MLK Parade

Speaking on his purpose, Duncantell said, “The Creator sent me to this city to change things around and he put protective angel’s roundabout me.”

This story is developing.

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