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Published on Oct 21, 2010
WHAT HE MEANT TO US Imam Yusuf Shah, 65, Black Muslim Leader Published: April 03, 1993 Sign In to E-Mail Print
Imam Yusuf Shah, a Black Muslim who helped to lead the Nation of Islam's Harlem mosque for 23 years and directed its Fruit of Islam security force in 20 Eastern states, died in his sleep on Wednesday at his home in Mount Vernon, N.Y. He was 65.
He had heart disease, his family said.
Mr. Shah was a top aide with Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan until they left the organization.
Originally named Joseph Gravitt, Mr. Shah was born in Detroit. His father, also named Yusuf, was active in the Islamic movement of the Moorish Science Temple of Noble Drew Ali, and Mr. Shah joined the Nation of Islam in Detroit.
In 1952 the organization's leader, Elijah Muhammad, sent him and Malcolm X to New York to organize a fledgling mosque, the Malcolm Shabazz Masjid. Mr. Shah was designated a captain and was widely known as Captain Joseph.