CLEVELAND -- Longtime Cleveland City Council President and NAACP Leader George Forbes was a longstanding personal friend of political guru Arnold Pinkney.

Pinkney died Monday after a battle with leukemia.

Forbes says Pinkney was a successful businessman first, running and co-owning an insurance company, who developed a love for being involved in politics. Forbes said when Pinkney realized people would pay for his advice, he decided to become a full-time consultant.

Pinkney oversaw many campaigns of Cleveland African-American leaders, school levies and the presidential campaign of Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Forbes says he and Mayor Frank Jackson were visiting Pinkney in hospice care last Friday and were having a lively discussion about controversial new city council committee assignments as Pinkney listened in, nodding during the debate.

Forbes describes Pinkney as "a decent human being first he was a man of honor first....he was a gentleman, a family man, a churchgoing man."

"I met guys in politics who didn't give a damn, who would do anything to win. That wasn't him," Forbes said.

"He spent a lot of time advising young people or people who wanted to become a public official advising them the right course of action," Forbes remembered.

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