The only man to admit to his role in the murder of Malcolm X was granted parole Tuesday, exactly 45 years after the civil rights leader was assassinated in New York City.

Thomas Hogan, 69, had appealed to the parole board 14 times since 1984, but each time his appeal had been turned down. He told the board he wanted to be released to his family and become a substance abuse counselor.

"I have deep regrets about my participation in that," Hogan said in a statement to the parole board on March 3. "I don't think it should ever have happened."

Hogan was sentenced to a 20-year prison term after he was found guilty following his trial in 1966. However, he had spent two days a week at a Manhattan jail under a full-time work release program that permitted him to live with his family five days a week.

Hogan was freed on the condition that he would secure a job and support his children ages, 21, 17, 14, and 10. In addition, officials say he will be forced to undergo random drug tests.

Hogan was the last man still serving time for killing Malcom X in 1965. Two other men, Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Kahlil Islam, were also convicted of murder after Malcom X was shot and killed at Harlem's Audubon Ballroom. However, Aziz and Islam were paroled in 1985 and 1987 after pleading not guilty to the crime.

Hogan, who was 22 years old at the time of the shooting and a radical member of the Nation of Islam, had said he wanted to kill Malcolm X because of derogatory statements he made.

"It stemmed from a break off and confusion in the leadership," Hagan said. "Malcolm X broke with the Nation of Islam, separated from the Nation of Islam, and in doing so there was controversy as to some of the statements he was making about the leader."