Published Online: April 8, 1998

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Ben Krentzman, a retired U.S. District Court judge who fought for the desegregation of public schools in Florida, died March 29. He was 84.

In 1970, Judge Krentzman forced then-Gov. Claude R. Kirk Jr. to allow the integration of schools in Manatee County by threatening the governor with a $10,000-a-day penalty.

He also oversaw the school desegregation efforts in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Because of his strong stand on civil rights, he often received death threats.

Judge Krentzman graduated from the University of Florida law school in 1938 and began practicing law in Clearwater, Fla. He was appointed to the federal bench by President Johnson in

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