RIPR News
3:12 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

Former Rep. George Lima, fighter for civil rights, dies at age 92

PROVIDENCE, R.I – George Lima, a role model for generations of black Rhode Islanders, has died at age 92.

The son of Cape Verdean immigrants, Lima served during World War two with the black squadron known as the Tuskegee Airmen. He persevered after encountering discrimination during and after the war.

Lima became a labor organizer, an administrator of federal programs, a leader of the local NAACP, and a state representative from East Providence in the 1980s. Veteran civil-rights activist Cliff Monteiro says Lima was an inspiration.

"I grew up in an era where there were not many black heroes - or people of color - and George Lima was 20 years older than me," Monteiro says, "so when I was a teenager meeting him, he was a great giant."

Monteiro says he considers Lima an American hero. George Lima was 92 years old.

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