BLACK HISTORY, NOTABLE BROADCASTERS, FEB. 13; Percy Ellis Sutton was a prominent black business and political leader. He became an entrepreneur whose investments included the New York Amsterdam News and the Apollo Theater in Harlem.Sutton was born in November of 1920 in San Antonio, Texas, the youngest of fifteen children born to Samuel Johnson (“S.J.”) Sutton and his wife, Lillian. In addition to being a full-time educator, S.J. farmed, sold real estate and owned a mattress factory, funeral home and skating rink. At age twelve, Percy stowed away on a passenger train to New York City, where he slept under a sign on 155th Street in the Harlem neighborhood of the Manhattan borough of the city. He joined the Boy Scouts of America and attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1936 and was recognized with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award as an adult. Sutton stated that scouting was a key factor in shaping his life. During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer with the Tuskegee Airmen. During the 1950s and 1960s, Sutton became one of America’s best-known lawyers.He represented many controversial figures, such as Malcolm X. After the murder of Malcolm X in 1965, Sutton and his brother Oliver helped to cover the expenses of his widow, Betty Shabazz. Sutton was a longtime leader in Harlem politics, and was a leader of the Harlem Clubhouse, also known as the “Gang of Four”. His allies in running the Clubhouse were New York City Mayor David Dinkins, U.S. Representative Charles Rangel, and New York Secretary of State Basil Paterson – whose son, David Paterson, became New York Governor in 2008. In 1971, Sutton cofounded the Inner City Broadcasting Corporation which purchased New York City’s WLIB-AM, the city’s first African-American-owned radio station. Sutton produced It’s Showtime at the Apollo, a syndicated, music television show first broadcast on September 12, 1987. In 1987, Sutton was awarded the Spingarn Medal, an award presented annually by the NAACP for outstanding achievement by an African American. Sutton lived until December of 2009.