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Leonard Everett "Lenny" Lyles

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LYLES, LEONARD EVERETT "LENNY," 75, died at Louisville Jewish Hospital, November 20, 2011.

Lyles was a native of Nashville, TN. His parents moved to Louisville when Lyles was 3. Lyles was a star athlete at Central High School. Recruited by the University of Louisville in 1954, he broke the school's color barrier for scholarship athletes. Known as a speedster, Lyles played football as a running back and ran track at U of L. Converted to a defensive back in the pro's, he played 12 seasons in the NFL, including 10 for the Baltimore Colts and two years with the San Francisco Forty-Niners. During his NFL Career, Lyles also began a 27-year career as an executive with Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp (BATUS) in Louisville. He was also an entrepreneur in number of business ventures. He opened Lyles Plaza in 1979, and later, with two business partners, added Lyles Mall. Both are on West Broadway. Lyles also helped revitalize the Smoketown area, where he grew up. One of the accomplishments Lyles was most proud of was serving as a mentor and role model for minority youths. He was also a generous contributor to various local charities, particularly those that are minority based. Lyles was a member of the West Broadway Church of Christ.

He was preceded in death by sons, Christopher Lyles and Michael Lyles; his mother, Alice Lyles of Louisville; and a sister, Doris Ferrell of Atlanta, GA.

Survivors include Lyles' wife, Faith Lyles; a son, Leonard "Everett" Lyles, Jr.; two nieces and several cousins.

Lyles' body will be cremated. A memorial celebration of Lyles' life is planned for this winter. A date has not been set.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to the Lenny Lyles Scholarship Fund, c/o Katina Whitlock, U of L Office of Development, Louisville KY 40292.

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Published in The Courier-Journal on Nov. 23, 2011
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