CLARKSDALE, Miss. (CelebrityAccess) — Noted Mississippi attorney, club owner, politician, and blues impresario Bill Luckett died on Thursday. He was 73.
According to the Associated Press, Luckett died a year after being diagnosed with cancer and at his request, will be remembered with a party rather than a funeral.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Luckett relocated with his family to Clarksdale, Mississippi, while still an infant and worked as a teenager as a janitor at his father’s law firm. He would eventually become mayor of the city in 2013.
He also ran for Governor of Mississippi in 2011, running in a platform of infrastructure improvement but lost the Democratic primary to Johnny DuPree, then the mayor of Hattiesburg, who went on to lose the general election to Republican candidate Phil Bryant.
An attorney specializing in civil litigation, Luckett studied law at the University of Mississippi, graduating in 1993. He was a member of the Mississippi and Tennessee Bar and a senior litigator and partner at the law firm of Luckett Tyner.
In 2001, Luckett partnered with actor Morgan Freeman; and Clarksdale native and Memphis entertainment executive, Howard Stovall; to launch the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale. Luckett and Freeman also operated Madidi, a restaurant in Clarksdale for several years, according to the Associated Press.
In a statement, Ground Zero said:
“Bill frequently dined, wined, & even danced the night away across our uneven floors to blues music performed by world class blues musicians. He always seemed at home when he walked through the door and wanted to make everyone feel like they were at home too. Whether you were born in the Mississippi Delta or you were visiting from across the globe, Bill made you feel special.”
“I think I can speak for the entire Ground Zero Blues Club family when I say we will genuinely miss him and it will not be the same without him. Our prayers are with his beautiful family, his lovely friends, and anyone who got the opportunity to meet such an amazing soul.”
Luckett was survived by his wife of 37 years, Francine; his son, Oliver; daughter Whitney Luckett; as well as a stepson and a stepdaughter.