Leader of El Paso desegregation effort dies at 94

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Associated Press

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 6:32 AM

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A graveside service is scheduled for Monday for Albert Schwartz, a former El Paso department store executive who led an effort that made El Paso the first city in the old Confederacy to end segregation in public accommodations.

Bob Brannon, husband to Schwartz niece Edi Schwartz Brannon, says the 94-year-old former president of The Popular department store died at his El Paso home Friday after a long illness.

The El Paso Times (http://bit.ly/1kVDBxA) reports The Popular closed in 1995 after 93 years in business.

Schwartz was with the 104th Infantry Division when it entered Germany's Nordhausen concentration camp in 1945 and was confronted by more than 3,000 corpses and 750 starving survivors.

In 1959, he led an Anti-Defamation League effort that led to a 1962 city ordinance ending racial segregation.

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Information from: El Paso Times, http://www.elpasotimes.com

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