Civil rights champion and influential lawyer William T. Coleman Jr. died at his Alexandria, Virginia home Friday. He was 96, reports the New York Times.
From New York Times:
His death was confirmed by a spokeswoman for the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers, where Mr. Coleman was a senior partner in its Washington office. He lived at a care facility with his wife of more than 70 years, Lovida Coleman.
…In one [civil rights case before the United States Supreme Court,] Mr. Coleman, recruited by Thurgood Marshall, was an author of the legal briefs that successfully pressed the court to outlaw segregation in public schools in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.
Ten years later, he argued a case that led to a Supreme Court decision establishing the constitutionality of racially mixed sexual relations and cohabitation. And in 1982, he argued that segregated private schools should be barred from receiving federal tax exemptions. The court agreed.
Coleman — who was the second African-American to hold a cabinet post and was appointed as transportation secretary by President Gerald R. Ford in March 1975 — died from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He is survived by his wife of 72 years, the former Lovida Hardin of Alexandria; three children, Lovida Hardin Coleman Jr. of McLean, Va., William T. Coleman III of Penn Valley, Pa., and Hardin Kennedy Coleman of Boston; and four grandsons, reports The Washington Post
SOURCE: New York Times, The Washington Post
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Remembering Greatness: The Celebrity Deaths Of 2016
15 photos Launch gallery
1. Gwen Ifill, a titan in the industry of journalism, died from uterine cancer on November 21. She was 61.
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2. Rapper Shawty Lo died in a fiery Atlanta car crash on the morning of Sept. 21.
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3. Sportscaster John Saunders passed away suddenly at the age of 61 on Aug. 10. The details surrounding his passing are still unclear.
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4. Actor Gene Wilder, best known for his role in ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,’ died on Aug. 29 from Alzheimer’s disease.
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5. Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali passed away on June 3 after a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s.
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6. Actor Anton Yelchin, best known for his role as Chekov in ‘Star Wars,’ passed away minutes after a June 19 car accident.
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7. Actor Ron Lester died on Aug. 4 of kidney failure. He was best known for his role in ‘Not Another Teen Movie.’
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8. ‘The Voice’ star Christina Grimmie was shot dead at 22 years old by a man who opened fire on her while she signed autographs.
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9. Legendary singer Prince tragically died from an accidental prescription drug overdose on April 21. He was 57-years-old.
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10. WWF wrestler and actress Chyna died from an accidental overdose of Valium and Ambien on April 20. She was 45 years old.
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11. ‘Blood, Sweat, & Heels’ reality star Daisy Lewellyn died from a rare form of liver cancer on April 8.
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12. Singer Denise Matthews, aka Vanity, died from kidney failure at the age of 57 on Feb. 15. She was Prince’s protegée and ex-girlfriend.
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13. Singer Maurice White passed away on Feb. 3 after battling Parkinson’s disease. He was the founder of R&B group Earth, Wind, & Fire.
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14. Rock star David Bowie died on Jan. 10 after battling cancer for 18 months. He was 69.
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15. A Tribe Called Quest rapper Phife Dawg passed away on March 22 due to complications from diabetes. He was 45 years old.
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