Legendary entertainer Lena Horne died Sunday in New York City at the age of 92. Horne was most known as the first black performer to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio and held an international singing career that spanned over 60 years. She is also credited for breaking barriers for African-Americans in film and television, as well as on stages from Las Vegas to Broadway.
Her death, at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, was announced by her son-in-law, Kevin Buckley. She lived in Manhattan. In a message of condolence, President Obama said Ms. Horne had “worked tirelessly to further the cause of justice and equality.”
Ms. Horne first achieved fame in the 1940s, became a nightclub and recording star in the 1950s and made a triumphant return to the spotlight with a one-woman Broadway show in 1981. She might have become a major movie star, but she was born 50 years too early: she languished at MGM for years because of her race, although she was so light-skinned that when she was a child other black children had taunted her, accusing her of having a “white daddy.”