09/06/2010 // Little Rock, Arkansas, US // TiffNews10 // News Desk
Little Rock, Arkansas – A renowned school integration pioneer has died. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Jefferson Thomas, a member of the Little Rock 9, who were the first group of African American students to attend Little Rock Central High School in 1957, passed away on Sunday after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
President Barack Obama is quoted by the AP as saying of Thomas in a statement released on Monday, “Even at such a young age, he had the courage to risk his own safety, to defy a governor and a mob, and to walk proudly into that school even though it would have been far easier to give up and turn back…Our nation owes Mr. Thomas a debt of gratitude for the stand he took half a century ago, and the leadership he showed in the decades since.”
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