Harry Briggs, Jr.


Age: 75

civil rights activist who as a young boy was at the center of a lawsuit that culminated with the U.S. Supreme Court outlawing segregated public schools whose parents Harry and Eliza Briggs were the first two of more than 100 signers of a 1949 petition seeking equal treatment for black students in Clarendon County, South Carolina (he was the third to sign when he was just 8 years old), in which the petition said black children were forced to attend schools that lacked adequate heat, lighting, and running water but the parents pursued a bolder lawsuit challenging segregation when the initial case was thrown out on a technicality after the decision Briggs v. Elliott had been filed in 1950 and was the first of five cases that were eventually combined and led to the high court's landmark 1954 decision declaring segregation unconstitutional that is named for the Kansas case Brown v. Board of Education.

Cause of Death: Complications of cancer

Born: February 10, 1941

Died: August 9, 2016

New York City, New York