Funeral Held for City Leader Al Lipscomb

Flags at half staff for city leader

By Susy Solis and Greg Janda
|  Sunday, Jun 26, 2011  |  Updated 9:48 PM CDT
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Al Lipscomb, the former Dallas City Council member and outspoken civil rights activist, was laid to rest on Saturday.

Amanda Fitzpatrick, NBCDFW.com

Al Lipscomb, the former Dallas City Council member and outspoken civil rights activist, was laid to rest on Saturday.

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More than 1,000 people gathered Saturday at Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas Saturday to remember former Dallas City Council Member Al Lipscomb.

Many knew Lipscomb as an enthusiastic politician.

But, his family only knew him as "Big Daddy.

Lipscomb died surrounded by friends and family at his home.

He was the first black person to run for Dallas Mayor and later served on Dallas City Council for 15 years.

Lipscomb changed Dallas politics when he became the lead plaintiff in a landmark lawsuit that declared Dallas' at-large election system unconstitutional. Years later, a federal court ordered the creation of single member districts.

He was also known as "the lip" for his brash style of communication.

The Dallas native remained an influential citizen even after he left the political arena.

"His style of leadership was one that was proper at that time, and his style of leadership was one that opened doors for me and others so that we could get here and do the things that we're doing, and I would not have been the mayor had it not been for the style and the leadership of Al Lipscomb," says Mayor Dwaine Caraway.

Lipscomb served on the Dallas City Council for 15 years. He died at the age of 86.

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