Sherman Brooks Sneed, 80 ­ Singer, Actor, Personal Manager, and Broadway Producer, with almost six decades of an entertainment presence, most recently known for conceiving and producing the longest one-woman musical in the history of Broadway  "Lena Horne, The Lady and Her Music", died suddenly of a heart attack Thursday, April 19, 2001.

A proud and distinguished man known for his many creative contributions, and just as many stories in tow, had an infectious spirit with a voice that sang even while speaking.

Sherman was born in and raised in Oklahoma City, OK.  After having traveled the world, Brooklyn became home for him and his family.

Born November 18, 1920, the third child of Retta and Walter G. Sneed, Sherman graduated in 1938 from Douglas High School.  Shermanšs entertainment wings sprouted at Douglas High, as a result of actively singing in the Chorus, playing in the band, and being part of a Quartet.  In addition, he was a talented member of both the football and baseball teams.

While attending Dillard University in New Orleans, LA, he continued his musical training as a baritone soloist with the choir, while also actively participating in athletics as quarterback for the football team.  When faced with the need to be back in Oklahoma, Sherman transferred to Langston University.  There, he was a baritone soloist with the A Cappella Choir, a member of the Drama Club, and still played football. In 1942, he was chosen for the third team on the Pittsburgh Courieršs Negro College All-American Football Team.

As a result of the war, Sherman became a member of the Armyšs U.S.O., entertaining our troops overseas.  He received an honorable discharge in 1943, due to a previous football injury.

After his discharge, he joined the acclaimed "Wings Over Jordan Choral Ensemble", which broadcast over the CBS radio network nationwide every Sunday morning.  Sherman was a featured soloist and narrated several broadcasts until 1945.

After a three-month whirlwind courtship, Sherman married Frieda Roye, a graduate from Lincoln University. Although raised in Kansas City, MO, Frieda was a native daughter of his home state, Oklahoma.

While living in Cleveland, OH, Sherman became associated with the Karamu Theatre, appearing in performances of "The Medium", "Mikado", and "Lost in the Stars."  At the renowned Cleveland Playhouse, he sang in Menottišs "The Consul", and sang with the Karamu Quartette.  He directed the Festival Choir at the St. James A.M.E. Zion Church from 1950-51, and was director of the International Brotherhood Speech Ensemble.
Sherman and his wife moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1952, when he was cast in the role of "Jim" in the Breen Davis production of "Porgy and Bess," starring William Warfield and Leontyne Price.  The production toured Europe and the United States.  He left the show in 1954 to pursue a solo career.  

From 1952 to 1957 he had several appearances on TV in "Sergeant Bilko", "The Nat King Cole Show", and on stage in "Jamaica"(the first-Black Broadway show), "The King and I", and "Carmen Jones."            

In 1957, Sneed began a fifteen-year long association with Harry Belafonte, first, as a member of the Belafonte Folk Singers, participating in multiple concerts and making television appearances and RCA recordings; secondly, as Assistant Manager and Public Relations Liaison.

Although touring the world and frequently out-of-town, Sherman was devoted to his family.  He was known to call in words of love and "fatherly lectures" from overseas to his son, Gregory Jay Sneed (born 1957), and daughter, Sherri Gayle Sneed (born 1960).

In October of 1972, Sherman became production manager for Lena Horne and, subsequently, her personal manager. With a 25-year commitment to Lenašs career, it was his idea and concept for her highly acclaimed one-woman Broadway show, which had an unprecedented 14-month run, and subsequent international tour (for which he was the co-producer of the show). He also produced two albums and was executive producer of both "Lena Horne at Carnegie Hall" in 1994, and the production of "Lena Horne at the Supper Club" the same year.

Sneed retired in January of 1997, at the age of 76.  Since his retirement, he has been very active with the Sterling Street Block Association, and serving on the Board of Directors with the Society of Singers Inc.šs Chapter East, a non-profit organization founded by Ginny Mancini (the widow of Henry Mancini), that is dedicated to helping singers in need.  The organization raises funds to help singers in need.  At the time of his death, he was passionately working on the First Annual Louis Armstrong Award Dinner, which will honor Bobby Short in October 2001.

Married for 56 years, Sherman is survived by his wife Frieda, son Gregory, daughter Sherri, sister Vertna Jones, nephew Mackenzie Jones, Jr., great nephew Ryan Jones, great niece Tiffany Jefferson, daughter-in-law Tina Sneed, and grandson Wesley Thompson.

A private ceremony for the family was held in Brooklyn on Tuesday, April 24, 2001 with a memorial service held in May. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in his memory be sent to The Society of Singers, Inc. Chapter East, 500 E. 77th Street, #633, New York, NY 10162.