We mourn the death and honor the life of Jefferson Thomas, who as a
gangly 15-year-old in 1957 joined eight other black teenagers to integrate
Little Rock High School - jeering, spitting mobs and all. Thomas, who
died of cancer at 67, was said to keep up his cohorts' spirits with his
indomitable sense of humor. He was the first of the Little Rock 9 to die. His inevitable fears notwithstanding, he stood up for what was right; we could use more of his kind today.
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Thomas, with classmates Minnijean Brown and Thelma Mothershed