Civil rights lawyer, NAACP leader dies in St. Louis

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | 5:05 p.m. CDT; updated 8:07 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ST. LOUIS — Pioneering civil rights lawyer Margaret Bush Wilson, a former national chairwoman of the NAACP, has died in her native St. Louis. She was 90.

Wilson had continued practicing law until June. Her son, Robert E. Wilson III, said she died Tuesday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital of multiple organ failure.

Wilson was born in 1919, one year before women won the right to vote in 1920, and broke barriers in her career.

She was the second black woman to pass the Missouri Bar after graduating from the former Lincoln Law School, which had been created for black people in Missouri.

Wilson worked on the historic Shelley v. Kramer case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that housing covenants which excluded black people from neighborhoods are unenforceable.



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