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Vincent Astor, Memphis icon and homosexual rights activist, dies

Whether or not holding court docket in a flowing white marriage ceremony costume because the beaming important attraction of a homosexual delight parade, coaxing showtunes from the keys and peddles of the Wurlitzer organ on the Orpheum or sharing his enthusiasm for his huge assortment of movie show memorabilia, Vincent Astor was a puckish, irrepressible avatar of Memphis at its most distinctive and unbiased—a group icon who made historical past whilst he preserved it.

An unofficial chronicler of classic Shelby County with a particular curiosity in film theaters, the Orpheum and the LGBTQ group, Astor was “an ‘out’ homosexual man in Memphis lengthy earlier than that was socially acceptable, when that was a brave act,” mentioned the Rev. Scott Walters, rector at Calvary Episcopal Church, the place Astor was a longtime member with a deep data of the congregation’s virtually 200-year-old historical past.

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