A local legend who founded a bar that calls itself the oldest in Tuscaloosa has died Monday morning.

Harry Hammonds was a Tuscaloosa native who was a star basketball player at Tuscaloosa High School and the University of Alabama before he reportedly turned down an offer to play in the NBA and opened Harry's Bar here in Tuscaloosa.

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Hammonds ran the bar, which is still open today, for 35 years before he sold it to now-owner Jake French. Bar staff said on Facebook that Hammonds passed away Monday morning.

Harry's, on Hargrove Road a short distance from the city's traditional bar districts, has been beloved by Bama students, locals and visitors to Tuscaloosa from the day it first opened more than five decades ago.

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