Huey P. Newton was born in Monroe, Louisiana, on February 17, 1942, and named after former governor Huey P. Long. In 1966, Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in Oakland, California. The organization was central to the Black Power movement, making headlines with its controversial rhetoric and militaristic style. Newton had a long series of confrontations with law enforcement, including several convictions, while he participated in political activism. He continued to pursue an education, eventually earning a Ph.D. in Social Science.
He also faced a number of criminal charges over the years and at one point fled to Cuba before returning to the U.S. and earning his doctorate. Struggling with drug and alcohol addiction in his later years, he was killed in 1989 in Oakland by a member of the Black Guerilla Family.