Wesley R. B. Brazier, 74; Led Integration Efforts


Wesley Robert Butler Brazier, a black civil rights leader who served as executive director of the Los Angeles Urban League from 1950 to 1968, has died. He was 74.

Brazier died of cancer on Christmas Day in Las Vegas, his son-in-law, Thomas S. Williamson Jr., said Friday.

Brazier helped create the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission and led integration efforts in several occupations and professions in Southern California.

His efforts included organizing the Men of Tomorrow, and service on then-Gov. Ronald Reagan's state Apprenticeship Council.

He also was a founder and one-time president of Safety Savings & Loan Assn., one of the first black-owned financial institutions in California.

After leaving the Urban League in 1968, Brazier spent five years working for the federal government as equal employment officer for the Defense Contract Administration Services Agency.

He had been semi-retired in Las Vegas since his wife, Willie, died in 1973.

Born Aug. 20, 1917, in Slidell, La., Brazier grew up in New Orleans and was graduated from Dillard University there, where he was a varsity athlete.

He earned a master's degree in social work from the Atlanta University School of Social Work in 1942 and pursued a doctorate in public administration at USC.

During World War II, Brazier served in the Army and saw combat in North Africa.

He began his career as a social worker at the YMCA in New Orleans, and moved to Los Angeles as a staff member for the Urban League in the late 1940s.

Survivors include a sister, Elizabeth DePrad of Los Angeles; two daughters, Benita Eileen Brazier of Los Angeles and Ellen Rochelle Brazier of Washington, and two grandsons.

The family has asked that any memorial contributions be made to Dillard University or to the Atlanta University School of Social Work.

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