The Spook Who Sat By the Door The Spook Who Sat By the Door

Friday, July 27, 2012

Willis Edwards dies of aids related illness

As a college student, Willis Edwards (above right) had a knack for "fixing situations," and gaining VIP access. He would curtail these talents into a career in entertainment and politics.


Former U.S. Rep. Diane Watson knew Willis Edwards for more than 40 years, going back to when he was student body president in college. She said he was known around town as "The Fixer." "Willis could get you into anything, any party, any private event. He just knew everybody," said Watson, a former U.S. ambassador to Micronesia. "Willis could talk his way into Fort Knox with two guns blazing."

He was regarded by those who know him well as the "go-to" guy; whether it's in halls of local, state or federal government; in the bright lights of Hollywood; in the church or the temple; or as a community organizer; Willis can get you what you need or where you need to go.

Willis Edwards (affectionately called 'Willis') was a fixture in Los Angeles and he cast a very unassuming shadow.

During the 1960s, Willis worked in the Robert F. Kennedy campaign for president and was at the Ambassador Hotel when the Senator was assassinated.

Willis lives a simple almost Spartan lifestyle (despite considerable wealth)-there were no show of elegance or luxury-just doing what he does from wherever he is ... nothing fancy ... but always helping others, be they well-known and famous or unknown and anonymous. And though an extremely private person, his work on social and political issues is very public and well known.

In addition he has worked for and with Nelson Mandela, the late Mrs. Rosa Parks, and he helped elect many African American politicians.

Edwards, who was openly gay and HIV-positive, was a strong advocate for AIDS-related issues.

According to Greg Morrison: "His passion was making sure the African-American community addressed the issue of AIDS education without flinching."

Willis Edwards died on July 14, 2012.

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