Activist Ex-Priest James Groppi Dies
James Groppi, the former Roman Catholic priest who led more than 200 marches for open housing in the city during the 1960s, died today. Groppi, who had undergone surgery for a brain tumor a year ago, was 54.
As an assistant pastor in a largely black neighborhood, Groppi was arrested more than a dozen times in his campaign for an open housing law, which the city passed in April, 1968. Groppi then became active in the anti-Vietnam War and Indian rights movements, and broke with the church to marry fellow activist Margaret Rozga in 1976.