NEW YORK (AP) — Steve Cannon, a writer, visual artist, gallery owner and patron of multiculturalism, has died.

Cannon’s sister, Evelyn Cannon, says he died July 7 of apparent septic shock at Veterans Hospital in New York City. He was 84.

A native of New Orleans, Cannon moved to New York in the early 1960s and was eventually dubbed “the emperor of the Lower East Side” by his friend and sometime collaborator, Ishmael Reed. Cannon and Reed helped found a multicultural publishing house and Reed was among those involved with Cannon’s “A Gathering of Tribes,” a literary publication, art gallery and arts organization.

Cannon’s books included “Groove, Bang and Jive Around,” a 1969 publication that Reed called a “pre-rap novel.” He also mentored younger writers, among them Man Booker Prize winner Paul Beatty.