Aspen, CO ColoradoGalen Martin, 79, a longtime civil rights activist and former executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, died Tuesday in his sleep at his home in Louisville, Ky., from complications suffered in a mountain bike accident three years ago.Martin was a ski instructor at Aspen Highlands in the 1980s, and continued to ski in Aspen with family, friends and some senior ski groups in the area until his head injury from the accident in 2003. He and his extended family always loved to ski and be around Aspen.Martin led the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights from 1963 to 1989 and was instrumental in the drafting and passage of Kentucky’s civil rights law in 1966.In 1972, he was one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs who sued the Louisville and Jefferson County school systems to force desegregation in classrooms. He also helped draft the desegregation plan that resulted from the lawsuit.Born in 1927 in East Rainelle, W.Va., Martin received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Berea College in Kentucky and a law degree from the University of Louisville.He later served as executive director of the Fair Housing Council in Louisville and was a nationally recognized authority on fair housing.
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