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Statement on the Death of Daisy Bates

November 04, 1999

Hillary and I were very saddened to hear of Daisy Bates' death this morning. She was a dear friend and a heroine. She was known chiefly as a leader during the crisis of Central High School in 1957 and a mentor to the Little Rock Nine. But she was so much more.

President Kennedy so admired her for her civil rights work that he hired her to work in his administration. During her 84 years, she received over 200 awards for her civil rights work, including the NAACP's esteemed Spingarn Award. In 1957, the Associated Press named her one of the top nine news personalities in the world.

We were blessed to have Daisy as a citizen of Arkansas, where she and her husband, L.C., published the award-winning Arkansas State Press newspaper. For over 30 years, it was the only African-American newspaper in the State. Her death will leave a vacuum in the civil rights community, the State of Arkansas, and our country. Her legacy will live on through the work she did, the friends she made, and the people she touched.

William J. Clinton, Statement on the Death of Daisy Bates Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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