Edward Shabazz Wadood, f/k/a Edward Sowell, Jr. was born to the late Mallia and Edward Sowell, Sr., on June 15, 1927, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He received his elementary and high school education in Cincinnati. During his high school years, he was active in sports, especially baseball and was also a Drum Major. He entered the military during World War II where he served in Europe and the Philippines in the Engineering Corp. During his time in service, he was an outstanding baseball player on the Army Baseball team. Edward married Helen Pharris. in 1947 and again 1957 and they had one child, Karen. They later divorced in 1960. In 1961 he married Sis. Mildred Wadood and they were married until her death in 2008. Edward had various employment but the one he most talked about was his time at Ford Motors here in New Jersey. Sometime later he became an insurance salesperson in Ohio and later in New Jersey where he specialized in automobile insurance. Br. Edward was one of the first converts in Newark to accept Islam in 1955 and was a member of the original Council of the Brothers created in 1956 as a "think tank" for Islamic men who wanted to spread the teachings of the Nation of Islam throughout the greater Newark area. They laid the foundation for Newark to become one of the most productive locations and temples in the 1960s and 70s. In 1968, a year after the Newark Riot, four brothers named El Hajj Hakim Shabazz, Nasir Rahim, Salahuddin Abu Bakr and Edward Wadood sworn allegiance to work to achieve self-determination and uplift their community based on the teachings of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad (PBUH). They established an insurance brokerage firm called Brother Services which served the City of Newark. Together they kept many young men on track, created jobs and helped with the college expenses of countless youth. He was active in politics, working tirelessly for the people of Newark. One of his major projects was Weequahic Park. He wanted the Park to be on the same high standards as those in surrounding cities for the citizens of Newark. He was a familiar figure around Newark City Hall and meetings of the then County Board of Chosen Freeholders, now Commissioners. The revitalized newly renovated Weequahic Park stands as a testament to his on-going efforts. Another aspiration was the youth. He worked tirelessly on their behalf. In or about 1984 together with several friends, he co-founded the Newark Youth Golf Club. He came to realize that the characteristics of the game such as integrity, patience, confidence, self-esteem, and the like would help develop characteristics integral to the development of people in general and the youth in particular. He was Activities Director from 1984 to approximately 2000. His continuing efforts on behalf of the youth was also instrumental in bringing the First Tee, a program through the PGA, to the golf course. The program offers scholarships for participating youths, many of them Newark residents. A monument stands on the site in the Weequahic Park Golf Club honoring him. Among his many accolades, in an article written about him by Barry Carter of the Star Ledger in August of 2016 and updated in 2019, he was dubbed the "Keeper of Newark's Weequahic Park”, a name he was proud to bear until his demise. Bro. Wadood left us on February 16, 2022. He is predeceased by his son Rahim Amin Wadood and leaves behind two daughters, Karen Taylor and Tilmena Shabazz, a son-in-law, Leon Taylor, five sons Hassan, Aku, Akbar, Ibn and Fard, four daughters-in- law, Wanda Carswell, Gloria Wadood, Raafia Amin-Wadood and Karen Wadood, ten grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews, extended families such as the Karriems and the Freemans, and a multitude of friends. His presence will surely be missed in Newark. May Allah Bless him. As Salaamu Alaikum
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