Civil Rights Leader Charles Evers Dies At 97

Charles Evers, a civil rights leader and historic Black mayor in Mississippi, has passed away. He was 97 years old.

Evers, who was the older brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, reportedly died of “natural causes” at his home in Brandon, a suburb of Jackson, Mississippi. 

According to the Associated Press, Evers was surrounded by relatives and his cause of death was not coronavirus related.

Charles and Medgar Evers were both World War II veterans and later became active in the NAACP. Charles was appointed to lead the Mississippi NAACP after his brother was killed in the driveway of his home in 1968. 

A year later, he was elected mayor of the southwestern Mississippi town of Fayette, becoming the first Black mayor of a multiracial town in the state since Reconstruction.

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During his career, Evers ran several businesses in Chicago and his home state. According to a Mississippi Blues Trail marker, he was a concert promoter with blues legend B.B. King and once in the bootleg liquor business.

On Wednesday, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi issued a statement over Evers’ death, calling him one of his favorite people.

“Charles Evers was never afraid to challenge the accepted norms or fly in the face of political correctness,” Wicker said. “As an elected official, he navigated the circuitous route from Freedom Democrat to Independent to Republican. He used his powerful personality and platform to change Mississippi for the better.”

Funeral arrangements for Charles Evers were not publicly released as of Thursday.

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