Still My Brother’s Keeper:  Bill Hampton, 73, dies

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Still My Brother’s Keeper:  Bill Hampton, 73, dies

Staff Reporter

MAYWOOD |  William “Bill” Hampton, 73, brother of slain Black Panther leader Fred “Chairman” Hampton, died early Thursday.

Bill Hampton considered himself the keeper of his younger brother Fred’s legacy, according to a 2018 interview, Still My Brother’s Keeper.  Bill said of his brother’s character, he was a hardworking, caring, community-minded person and self-starter.  Bill credited Fred’s success in the Movement to his intelligence and charisma.  “He [Fred] was studying to become a lawyer when he became overly involved in a youth and ACP fighting for open housing, recreation facilities and then got involved in the Black Panther Party and began uniting black folks and creating free breakfast, free clothing and free medical centers for the poor.”

A commissioner of the Maywood park District and community activist in his own right, Bill was working in collaboration with film director Antione Fuqua on an upcoming biopic on Fred’s life.  Bill left an indelible mark in the lives of many people including the media.

“I interviewed Bill several times, whether I wanted to or not…he was that kind of force. However, his death makes me think of the countless times I have heard people say that others write our history, and that is not good in my opinion” said Glenn Reedus, journalist and friend.

Reedus added, “The issue and question that comes to mind is Bill Hampton was closer to history in terms of the Black Panther Party than any of us because he knew Fred from day one. It is history that can’t be replicated or accurately recalled by anyone.”

Hampton’s mother Iberia died in 2016, followed by his sister, Frances, one year after their mother.  They are survived by Fred’s only son, Fred Hampton, Jr.

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