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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A fighter against discrimination in South Florida is being mourned Wednesday night.

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Art Teitelbaum, the former district director of the Anti-Defamation League, died at the age of 77.

Teitelbaum was always there when this community needed someone to call for respect, calm and tolerance.

He was a fighter. His enemy was discrimination, intolerance and hatred.

“He was an individual who was able to understand all factions of the community and was a true bridge builder,” said Dennis Kainen, past president of the ADL.

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Teitelbaum served four decades as southern area director of the Anti-Defamation League.

He was often interviewed after incidents that divided South Florida – riots, hate crimes, refugee influxes.

Whenever a voice of calm was needed Teitelbaum was there.

Teitelbaum also served as an advisor to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and taught at Miami Dade College.

With a broadcaster’s voice, and always knowing exactly what to say, he shined when victims of discrimination needed a voice.

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“Whenever there was an incident of hate or bigotry he was the first to come out and say it was wrong,” said Kainen. “He understood our community. He knew how to talk to politicians and knew how to tell them the truth.”

Eliott Rodriguez