His was the big booming voice on skid row, calling out across the crowded streets to a friend or fellow traveler. “Microphone Mike,” some called him.
A onetime criminal defense attorney who lost his career to a crack addiction, Kevin Michael Key found both ruin and redemption on skid row, a neighborhood he came to embody as one of its loudest and most persistent activists.
Until his death July 19 from cancer, Key was involved with virtually every outreach, self-help or activist group that had its hands in skid row — even acting in a theater group that provided purpose and camaraderie to people who had lost both.
“He always saw skid row as the New York part of L.A.,” said...