MLGW Consultant Rotan Lee Dead at 57

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Rotan Lee, who became something of a household word in Memphis in 1998 as a consultant on MLGW, died this week of heart failure in Philadelphia. He was 57.

Lee came to Memphis at the invitation of Mayor Willie Herenton, who wanted to explore the possibility of selling publicly-owned MLGW. The study never went anywhere, and Lee soon became a lightning rod for criticism. He was paid $150,000 plus expenses.

Lee was a well-known figure in Philadelphia. He was school board president, newspaper columnist, and radio talk-show host among other things.

“It wasn’t just Lee’s imposing 6-foot-4 stature that made him hard to ignore,” wrote the Philadelphia Inquirer in an editorial Wednesday. “He was one of the most articulate champions of educational achievement for all children that Philadelphia has ever had.”

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