Flint icon Jacky King dies after long struggle with brain cancer

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FLINT (WJRT) (12/13/2018) - Jacky King died Thursday morning surrounded by family.

(12/7/18) - A Flint icon is in for the fight of his life.

Karate expert, dojo owner, urban farmer and politician for more than 40 years, Jacky King has immersed himself in helping his community -- especially Flint's youth.

But King is back in the hospital after surgery last summer to remove a brain tumor.

"I've been really blessed here the last few months, just being reminded of all the folks that we've had the opportunity to touch in these last few decades," said Jacky King's wife, Dora.

King used his martial arts skills to help the Beecher community ward off drug dealers who were up to no good.

"I've watched that little tiny guy go walking up to a group of six, seven big guys selling, doing the wrong thing on corners in his neighborhood and he wasn't having it. He would go right up in there like a little pit bull with no fear -- no fear in his eyes, no fear in his heart," Dora said.

While small in stature, King always supported children through his various ventures.

"Throughout the years, I've watched Jacky King say 'no' to no one when it came to a child. Whether it was a mentoring effort or to go read a book to them in class or to give free classes to them for karate, he's always been there willing to do his part," commented Dora King.

One of his former karate students, Dylan Foster, credits King with setting him on the right path in life.

"Master King has been a father figure for me, an inspiration, the guy who told me there's no such thing as 'can't,'" Foster said. "I'm a college graduate. I work in cyber security. I've done all these great things, but a lot of that I wouldn't have had if I didn't have certain father figures in my life."

See Related Links on the right side of this story for a fundraiser page to help pay King's medical expenses.

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