Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer whose life story served as an inspiration behind a Bob Dylan song and a 1999 movie, has passed away. He was 76. As reported by The Associated Press, his friend and caregiver John Artis said that Carter passed away in his sleep at his home in Toronto on Sunday, April 20. Carter suffered from prostate cancer prior to his death.
Back in 1966, three white people were shot by two black men in Paterson, N.J. Carter and Artis, who were driving around the town that night, were later convicted of three murders by an all-white jury. Carter was convicted in 1967 and again in 1976. After years of appeals, the verdicts were finally overturned in 1985. Following his release, Carter became an advocate for prisoners.
Dylan wrote and recorded the song "Hurricane" in 1975 after he read the boxer's biography and met him in person. Denzel Washington, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance in Carter-inspired flick "The Hurricane", released a statement upon learning of the sad news. In the statement, he praised Carter's "tireless fight to ensure justice for all."
In an interview with PBS in 2011, Carter opened up about how he dealt with the convictions. "I wouldn't give up. No matter that they sentenced me to three life terms in prison. I wouldn't give up. Just because a jury of 12 misinformed people ... found me guilty did not make me guilty. And because I was not guilty, I refused to act like a guilty person," he said.