Comedian Jimmy Mack Remembered as Friend and Mentor to Tracy Morgan

James McNair, known on the comedy circuit as "Jimmy Mack," died in the six-vehicle crash Saturday that sent Morgan to the hospital

Monday, Jun 9, 2014  |  Updated 10:36 AM EDT
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Tracy Morgan's Career in Photos

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Jimmy Mack performs at The Stress Factory Comedy Club on August 31, 2013 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mack died in a crash that critically injured Tracy Morgan.

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The crash that critically injured Tracy Morgan also killed a comedian who some are remembering as a friend and mentor to the "30 Rock" star.

James McNair, known on the comedy circuit as "Jimmy Mack," died in the six-vehicle crash Saturday along the New Jersey Turnpike that sent Morgan and two others to the hospital in critical condition.

Morgan's ex-wife, Sabina Morgan, told the Daily News that the two had a long history together.

"He was one of the first comedians that took Tracy under his wing," she said of the 62-year-old Westchester resident. "They were very close."

Even after Morgan's career took off, the two would sometimes work together, The Journal News reported.

"Him and Tracy stayed really close," McNair's friend Glenn Cook told the newspaper. "When Tracy calls, (McNair) drops everything and goes."

McNair was known in his hometown of Peekskill as a frequent volunteer who was very involved with his church. 

"I know how he loved comedy, how he loved community, how much he did for the community," Cook said. "He helped just about everybody."

He also helped care for his sister, who has cancer, Donna Besterio, head of the Caring for the Homeless of Peekskill, told The Journal News. 

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