Afeni Shakur Davis, the activist mother of slain rap legend Tupac Shakur, has died at the age of 69. She was the subject of his iconic “Dear Mama” song and controlled his estate.
Marin County Sheriff’s deputies and firefighters responded to Shakur’s home in Sausalito, California Monday night after she suffered a possible heart attack, the sheriff said. She was taken to a local hospital and died just before 10:30 p.m on Tuesday. Marin County Sheriff’s Lt. Doug Pittman said; “at this point, there is nothing to indicate to us that there was any foul play, nothing suspicious about this other than this being sadly a natural event that has occurred.” He said.
Shakur was in the company of a friend when she began to feel sick, “she was experiencing some type of physical discomfort”. “Attempts were made to try to remedy those problems at home, but when they got more severe, it was at that time the family friend called 911 and asked for medical help.
“Paramedics arrived around 9:30 p.m. and immediately began to provide Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, she was rushed to Marin General Hospital, where she was treated for about an hour before she died,’’ Pittman said.
The investigation had been turned over to the coroner’s division, where officials would speak to family members about Shakur’s recent health history and research her medical records to determine whether an autopsy was needed. “This is a tragic loss to this community,” Pittman said.
Shakur, born Alice Faye Williams, changed her name when she moved to New York City and joined the Black Panther Movement. She and other party members were arrested in 1969 and charged with conspiracy to bomb multiple busy city landmarks. After her son’s 1996 shooting death, Shakur took over the late rapper’s estate, which reportedly earns about 900,000 dollars each year. Dina LaPolt, a California Attorney who handled Tupac Shakur’s estate for nearly 10 years, fought back tears as she described Shakur, who inspired the lawyer to open up her own firm in 2001. “She’s an advocate, she’s an activist. She taught me never to compromise your values, to always fight for what you believe in,’’ LaPolt said.
The lawyer developed a close professional relationship with Shakur, who LaPolt described as “one of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with, she also influenced my personal life’’. “I met her when I was 91 days sober, now I’m 18 years sober, she was very, very instrumental in my life. I carry her with me to this day.”
Earlier this year, Shakur filed for divorce from her husband of 12 years, Gust Davis, and was in a legal battle over her son’s estate, TMZ reported. Davis demanded half of the monthly 20,000 dollars Shakur took home every month. In 2014, Shakur co-produced “Holler If Ya Hear Me,” a Broadway jukebox musical featuring her son’s works. A movie about Tupac’s life, “All Eyez on Me,” is set for release in November, with Danai Gurira cast as Shakur. Shakur served as an executive producer for the film.
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