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John Houston, 82; Theatrical Manager, Whitney’s Father

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From Times Staff and Wire Reports

John Houston, 82, a theatrical manager since the early days of rhythm and blues and the father of singer Whitney Houston, died Sunday at a New York City hospital after a long battle with diabetes and heart disease.

Well before his daughter’s rise to fame, Houston managed the career of her mother and his former wife, Cissy Houston. She sang with the Sweet Inspirations, a backing vocal group to artists including Aretha Franklin.

Relations between Houston and his daughter took an especially awkward turn recently when his company, John Houston Entertainment, sued hers for $100 million.

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The suit sought compensation for helping to get a marijuana charge against her dismissed and for getting her a new record contract.

Houston was born in Trenton, N.J., in 1920, and was living in Fort Lee, N.J., at the time of his death.

His theatrical management agency was based in Newark, N.J., the city where his daughter was born.

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