January 11, 2007
Jefferson County native Leroy Eldridge Cleaver became world famous in the 1960s as a member of the militant activist group, the Black Panthers. Cleaver became the spokesperson for the Panthers in 1967 when he was chosen as the organization’s minister of information. While serving a stint in prison, he wrote a series of autobiographical essays that were published in 1968 as Soul on Ice. That same year, he ran for president of the United States as the candidate of the Peace and Freedom Party. In the early 1980s, he joined the Republican Party, supporting Ronald Reagan for president in 1984.