Brower, left, performs with the Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra.

Alexander Brower, a former publisher of Lee County’s African American newspaper (the Hometown News) and a former chairman of the local chapter of the NAACP, has died, the Rant has learned.

WWGP Radio’s Margaret Murchison reports that Brower passed away at the VA Medical Center in Durham following a battle with cancer.

“Sandy and I met years ago when we were students at Sandhills Community College and he entertained us in the lounge with his singing and playing. When he decided to found the Home Town News, he visited me on my job to tell me what he was going to do and I believe I was featured in his first edition,” Murchison recalled. “When the paper first hit the streets, I told him his opening statement was too brash and he told me that many people doubted him so he was just getting back at them.”

As Murchison mentioned, Brower was also well known locally as a musician. Watch a video of him singing below. The Rant offers condolences to Brower’s friends and family.