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William Lee Brent
William Lee Brent, a Black Panther who hijacked a passenger jet to communist Cuba in 1969 and spent 37 years in exile, has died on the island, his sister said. He was 75.

Brent died Nov. 4 from bronchial pneumonia, Elouise Rawlins said in a telephone interview from her home in Oakland, Calif.

Rawlins said she learned of her brother's death through telephone calls and messages from friends and acquaintances, but has not received official word from the U.S. or Cuban governments.

Rawlins said she had not seen her brother since he used a handgun to hijack TWA Flight 154 from San Francisco to Havana on June 17, 1969, but said they stayed in contact through e-mails and telephone calls.

``We didn't even know he was ill,'' Rawlins said. ``I don't know about the burial or anything - just that he passed away.''

The telephone rang unanswered Friday at Brent's Havana home, which he shared with his wife, travel writer Jane McManus, until her death last year. They had met and married in Cuba.

Source: Guardian Unlimited

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