Leroy Eldridge Cleaver was an American writer and political activist who became an early leader of the Black Panther Party.
In 1968, Cleaver wrote Soul on Ice, a collection of essays that, at the time of its publication, was praised by The New York Times Book Review as "brilliant and revealing". Cleaver stated in Soul on Ice: "If a man like Malcolm X could change and repudiate racism, if I myself and other former Muslims can change, if young whites can change, then there is hope for America."
Cleaver went on to become a prominent member of the Black Panthers, having the titles Minister of Information and Head of the International Section of the Panthers, while a fugitive from the United States criminal justice system in Cuba and Algeria. Cleaver was convicted with a series of crimes including Burglary, assault, rape and attempted murder and eventually served time in Folsom and San Quentin prisons and released on parole in 1968. The same year, he became a fugitive after leading an ambush on Oakland police officers, during which two officers were wounded. Cleaver was also wounded during the clash and Black Panther member Bobby Hutton was killed.