Globetrotter Harold 'Bunny' Levitt dies at 96

Updated: May 3, 2006, 11:19 PM ET
Associated Press

OCALA, Fla. -- Harold "Bunny" Levitt, who played for the Harlem Globetrotters and was famous for accurate free-throw shooting, died Sunday of natural causes, his wife said. He was 96.

Using his underhanded style, Levitt made a record 499 consecutive free throws in 1935 at a Chicago Sun-Times-sponsored event. He then toured with the Globetrotters for 4½ years.

In 1954, Quaker Oats issued a trading card commemorating his skill at the line, the Ocala Star-Banner reported.

"He was a great athlete," his wife Edith Levitt said. "He liked life. He was always up. That was his personality."

Levitt was born in Chicago and his mother called him "Bunny" because he was small and quick.

After touring with the Globetrotters, Levitt became a salesman with the shoe company Converse and assisted with basketball clinics sponsored by the company.

Levitt met his wife while serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.

He is survived by his wife, daughter, Ellen, and sister, Josie Lustig.

Funeral services will be held Thursday in Ocala.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press