John Houston Dies...
Whitney Houston's Father Dies After Long Illness
NEW YORK (Reuters) - John Houston, the father of pop diva Whitney Houston and a longtime
theatrical manager, died from cardiac arrest after a long struggle with diabetes and heart
disease, a family spokeswoman said on Monday. He was 82.
Houston died early Sunday morning at Manhattan's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital with his
wife, Peggy, and his personal nurse by his side, said spokeswoman Nancy Seltzer in a
telephone interview from Los Angeles.
Houston and his famous daughter had locked horns in recent months as his theatrical
management agency sued the pop star for $100 million, claiming the 39-year-old singer
hired him and his business partner to help her with financial difficulties and to
negotiate a record contract and were never paid.
The contract squabble did not keep them apart, however.
The rest of the Houston family made flight arrangements as soon as they could after being
informed Saturday night that Houston was failing, Seltzer said, adding that Whitney
arrived on Sunday from Miami, where she was shooting a magazine cover.
"The entire Houston family and John loved each other very, very much and each and
every one of them had a chance to be with John (at the end)," Seltzer said.
Whitney was the youngest of four children Houston had with his first wife, Cissy, and was
his only daughter.
Houston managed the backup vocal group called The Sweet Inspirations that included Cissy
Houston and performed on hits recorded by Elvis Presley (news) and Aretha Franklin among
The elder Houston had drawn attention to the suit against Whitney from his hospital bed in
December, urging her to "pay the money that you owe me."
He made the unusual public appeal on the syndicated television show "Celebrity
Justice," a day after his daughter acknowledged a history of drug and alcohol abuse
in an ABC television interview and said her father's suit was hurtful.
NEWSFILE: 3 FEBRUARY 2003