LOS ANGELES - It was in the rubble of the Martin Luther King Center in the troubled south-central part of this city that Edward Rice, owner of a vandalized Popeye's fried chicken outlet, first met Mac.

Mr. Rice had come to help with the daunting job of cleaning up after the Rodney King riots of 1992. He was joined by other residents and community leaders, including Richard P. McNish, known to his friends as Mac.

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