Lazar Kleit, 67, a former executive director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, died Monday of prostate cancer.
Mr. Kleit started as an administrative assistant for the commission in 1967 and worked his way up to the top job in 2001. He retired two years later.
Everything he did "always centered around guarding and ensuring everybody's rights as human beings," said his wife, Marlena, 70.
Mr. Kleit was a founding member of District Council 47 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and served on the board of the Jewish Community Relations Council.
He was born in 1944 in Philadelphia and raised in Overbrook by his parents, Solomon and Betty Kleit. He graduated from Overbrook High School in 1962 and attended Temple University until his first year in law school.