Remembering Mr. Leslie Benson
Community Coalition and South Los Angeles is mourning the death of a long-time resident and activist Mr. Leslie Benson.
At the age of 76, Mr. Benson had lived a rich and full life, having raised four sons in South L.A. who all went on to become successful college-educated men. A resident of the King Estates neighborhood for more than 50 years, Mr. Benson knew every inch and every corner of his community and of King Park located on 39th and Western.
A man who truly loved his community, Mr. Benson was an integral part of the efforts to clean up and revitalize his neighborhood. He was a resident activist who led the campaign to clean up Century Liquor and renovate King Park. He was a leader who provided experience, wisdom, strength, and acted as a role model to Community Coalition staff and members, his family and friends, neighbors and the different community groups he was a part of.
To many men and women who knew him, Mr. Benson represented everything that a strong African American male role model should be, he was a proud father figure who raised strong sons and who in turn raised strong grandchildren. He was an activist, someone who was an active part of his community for many decades, and he was a above all else, a caring and loving man who lived his life with love.
Mr. Benson passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 20th, 2011. He was born in Rosebud, Texas in 1935. He moved to California with his family in 1960 to raise his children away from the segregation that he lived through in his time.
Mr. Benson's leadership and community work is highlighted in the video below where he speaks about the changes that residents like himself were able to win at King Park: