- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A militant man of letters, a former pro boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice and a self-made parking lot magnate who went on to own pro sports teams were among the notable New Jerseyans who died in 2014.

Residents also mourned the deaths of former members of Congress, musicians and the wife of one of its most beloved sports figures.

-AMIRI BARAKA, 79:

A beat poet, black nationalist and Marxist revolutionary known for his blues-based, fist-shaking manifestos, died in January. Formerly known as LeRoi Jones, Baraka was known for works that ranged from the racial fury of “Dutchman” to the Sept. 11 diatribe, “Somebody Blew Up America.”

-RUBIN “HURRICANE” CARTER, 76:

Carter, who died in April, spent 19 years in prison for three murders at a tavern in Paterson in 1966. He was convicted in 1967 and again in a new trial in 1976, but was freed in November 1985 when his convictions were set aside. His ordeal and the alleged racial motivations behind it were publicized in Bob Dylan’s 1975 song “Hurricane,” several books and a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington.

-LEWIS KATZ, 72:

Katz, who built his fortune in New York parking lots, billboards and cable TV, and went on to buy the NBA’s New Jersey Nets, NHL’s New Jersey Devils and The Philadelphia Inquirer, died in a June plane crash in Massachusetts that also claimed six other lives.

-MARGE ROUKEMA, 85:

Roukema, a Republican who spent more than two decades in Congress sparring regularly with ideologues within her party, died in November. Roukema represented northern New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District for more than 20 years, describing herself as a strong fiscal conservative. But on many social issues, she espoused a liberal Republican philosophy long associated with the Northeast.

-CLEMENT PRICE, 69:

Price, a longtime professor at Rutgers-Newark University who was known for his scholarly works and extensive knowledge of the city and its history, died in November. Price came to Newark in the wake of the city’s 1967 riots and became one of its most ardent boosters. He later earned his doctorate from Rutgers-Newark before going on to teach history classes there for several years, and was named Newark’s official historian several months before his death.

Other notable New Jerseyans who died in 2014:

- Carmen Berra, 85, the wife of New York Yankees great Yogi Berra.

- Frank Budd, 74, an Olympic sprinter and former 100-yard dash world record-holder who also played professional football.

- Robert Clifford, 89, a long-serving New Jersey Supreme Court justice who was known for crafting elegantly written legal opinions.

- Henry Jackson, 57, a musician better known as “Big Bank Hank.” He was a member of the pioneering hip-hop group the Sugarhill Gang responsible for one of the most popular rap songs of all time, “Rapper’s Delight.”

- Louis “Red” Klotz, 93, the basketball barnstormer who owned the Washington Generals and other teams that lost thousands of games to the Harlem Globetrotters.

- Robert Littell, 78, the longest-serving lawmaker in state history at the time of his retirement.

- Lily McBeth, 80, the teacher whose battles with school boards in conservative areas made her a reluctant symbol of the transgender rights movement.

- James Rebhorn, 65, a prolific character actor whose credits included “Homeland,” ”Scent of a Woman” and “My Cousin Vinny.”

- Robert Roe, 90, a longtime congressman known for his commitment to public works projects.

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