Obama Mourns Passing of Singer-Actress Lena Horne

Published May 11, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is mourning the passing of singer-actress Lena Horne.


In a statement Monday, Obama called Horne a most cherished entertainer who warmed hearts with her beautiful voice and dramatic on-screen performances. The president also hailed her efforts to promote justice and equality.

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Horne was the first black performer to tour with an all-white band, and she refused to perform for segregated audiences while entertaining soldiers during World War II.

Obama said he and the first lady join all Americans in appreciating the joy Horne brought to their lives and the progress she forged for the country.
Horne died Sunday in New York at age 92.

Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Lena Horne – one of our nation’s most cherished entertainers.

Over the years, she warmed the hearts of countless Americans with her beautiful voice and dramatic performances on screen. From the time her grandmother signed her up for an NAACP membership as a child, she worked tirelessly to further the cause of justice and equality.

 In 1940, she became the first African American performer to tour with an all white band.  And while entertaining soldiers during World War II, she  refused to perform for segregated audiences – a principled struggle she continued well after the troops returned home. 

 Michelle and I offer our condolences to all those who knew and loved Lena , and we join all Americans in appreciating the joy she brought to our lives and the progress she forged for our country.

Written by <P>The Associated Press<BR><BR></P>

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