Daniel Lee Mack Sr., the Last of Tuscaloosa’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ First Black Police Officers, Dies at 88

Daniel Lee Mack, Sr.
Daniel Lee Mack, Sr.

The last of Tuscaloosa’s “Magnificent Seven” has died.

Daniel Lee Mack Sr., one of the first seven black officers of the Tuscaloosa Police Department, was 88.

Visitation is set for Sunday at Van Hoose & Steele Funeral Home, 2615 Stillman Blvd., from 1:30-4:30 p.m., with tributes permitted during the final hour.

Burial will be Monday in the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo following an 11:30 a.m. celebration of life service at Weeping Mary Baptist Church.

Mack was a graduate of Industrial High School, then Tuscaloosa’s blacks-only school, and a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War.

Friends described him as a generous man who always had time for those in need.

“He was an excellent gentleman who was full of love and kindness and always put everyone else first,” said Louise J. Crawford, a 20-year neighbor of Mack’s who served as his caregiver and power of attorney during his final years. “You couldn’t find a better gentleman and he will be sorely missed by his friends and his community.”

Taking a stand

He was also labeled a champion for civil rights, willing to put his body between the aggressive whites who were violently opposed to the equality efforts of Tuscaloosa’s black residents.

“It was a hostile environment between the blacks and whites in Tuscaloosa at the time …,” said Danny Steele, whose family owns and operates Van Hoose & Steele Funeral Home. “It was the young people, my age, and people like Mr. Mack who took a stand.”

“I admire him for taking a stand.”

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SOURCE:  Jason Morton