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Rest in Power, D’Army Bailey

D’Army Bailey, a lawyer and judge who helped preserve the Memphis hotel where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and turn it into National Civil Rights Museum, has died. He was 73.

Bailey’s wife, Adrienne, said her husband died Sunday afternoon after a long illness, surrounded by family at Methodist Hospital in Memphis.

Bailey fought to preserve the crumbling Lorraine Motel, where King was slain while standing on a balcony on April 4, 1968. Bailey assembled donors to buy the hotel, which became the National Civil Rights Museum in 1991.

Bailey had practiced law in Memphis before he was elected as Circuit Court judge in 1990. He left the bench to enter private practice in 2009 before being re-elected to a Circuit Court judgeship last year.