Nevada civil rights pioneer Bob Bailey dies at 87

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Updated: 5/26/2014 10:12 pm

LAS VEGAS (AP, & KRNV) — A singer, TV host and Las Vegas civil rights pioneer who was the first chairman of the Nevada Equal Rights Commission has died. William "Bob" Bailey was 87.

Clark County coroner's officials said Bailey died Saturday under hospice care.

Bailey arrived in Las Vegas in 1955 and rose to prominence as an emcee for the Tropi-Can-Can Revue at the Moulin Rouge casino. African-American musicians were allowed to perform in casinos at the time, but were not allowed to stay in the hotels.

The Las Vegas Sun reports Bailey and others helped negotiate an agreement in 1960 that de-segregated casinos.

In a statement, Governor Brian Sandoval praised Bailey. "I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Dr. William H. Bailey. Dr. Bailey was a dedicated leader and pioneer in areas of civil rights, working as Chairman of the Nevada Equal Rights Commission, in addition to being an advocate for our state’s minority small business community. His contributions have made lasting impacts on both the city where he lived, as well as our great state as a whole. Kathleen and I send our thoughts and prayers to Dr. Bailey and his family at this most difficult time."

Bailey advocated for economic opportunities for minorities and was appointed by President George Bush in 1990 as deputy director of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency.

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