PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Cecil B. Moore Avenue cuts right through the heart of the once riot-scarred North Philadelphia.

Back then it was Columbia Avenue, but as it began to regenerate and provide hope to a depressed community, it was renamed for a Philadelphia civil rights icon.

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So, who was Cecil B. Moore?

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He was the tall, fit, former marine in a tailored suit with a pencil thin mustache who stood at the doors of Girard College, and brought about its desegregation. An NAACP President and City Councilman, he was a lawyer who represented those who no one else would.

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He often told a KYW reporter, “these fella’s aren’t choir boys.” His methods infuriated judges, but to a poverty burdened community, Cecil B. Moore was a hero in bronze.