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Medgar Evers' relationship with Myrlie Evers ended when Medgar Evers died on June 12, 1963. They had been married for 11.5 years.

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Medgar Evers

Politics - Other

Why Famous: Civil Rights Activist

Age: 37 (7/2/1925 - 6/12/1963)


Medgar Evers' Relationships (1)

Myrlie Evers Profile Photo

Myrlie Evers

Politics - Other

Why Famous: Ex-Wife of Medgar Evers

Age: 85 (b. 3/17/1933)


Myrlie Evers' Relationships (1)

Relationship Timeline

Event Start Date Length
Dating n/a --
Engaged n/a --
Married 12/24/1951 11.5 years
Deceased 6/12/1963 --
 Total11.5 years*

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Children of this Relationship

Name Born Age Gender Type
Darrell Kenyatta6/30/195347 yrs.*MaleBiological
Reena Denise195464 yrs.FemaleBiological
James Van1/10/196058 yrs.MaleBiological

* Age at time of death

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Relationship Information, Quotes, and Trivia

Where and/or how did Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers meet?

They met in 1950 at Alcorn State University (formerly Alcorn A&M College) in Lorman, Mississippi where they were both students.

Why did Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers break up?

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Other Relationship Information about Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers:

They moved to Mound Bayou, Mississippi, where T. R. M. Howard had hired Medgar to sell insurance for his Magnolia Mutual Life Insurance Company. Myrlie worked for Howard as a typist until the couple moved to Jackson in 1954.

On June 12, 1963, Evers pulled into his driveway after just returning from a meeting with NAACP lawyers. Emerging from his car and carrying NAACP T-shirts that read "Jim Crow Must Go," Evers was struck in the back with a bullet fired from an Enfield 1917 .303 rifle that ricocheted into his home. He staggered 30 feet before collapsing. He died at a local hospital 50 minutes later, just hours after President John F. Kennedy's speech on national television in support of civil rights. Mourned nationally, Evers was buried on June 19 in Arlington National Cemetery, where he received full military honors in front of a crowd of more than three thousand people.

On June 23, 1964, Byron De La Beckwith, a fertilizer salesman and member of the White Citizens' Council and Ku Klux Klan, was arrested for Evers' murder. During the course of his first trial in 1964, De La Beckwith was visited by former Mississippi governor Ross Barnett and one time Army Major General Edwin A. Walker. All-white juries twice that year deadlocked on De La Beckwith's guilt.

The murder and subsequent trials caused an uproar. Musician Bob Dylan wrote his 1963 song "Only a Pawn in Their Game" about Evers and his assassin. The song's lyrics included: "Today, Medgar Evers was buried from the bullet he caught/They lowered him down as a king." Nina Simone took up the topic in her song "Mississippi Goddam". Phil Ochs wrote the songs "Too Many Martyrs" and "Another Country" in response to the killing. Matthew Jones and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Freedom Singers paid tribute to Evers in the haunting "Ballad of Medgar Evers." Eudora Welty's short story "Where is the Voice Coming From," in which the speaker is the imagined assassin of Medgar Evers, was published in The New Yorker. Even Rex Stout used the event as a plot device in his civil rights themed mystery A Right to Die.

Malvina Reynolds mentioned "the shot in Evers' back" in her 1964 song "It Isn't Nice", and in 1965, Jackson C. Frank included the lyrics "But there aren't words to bring back Evers" in his tribute to the civil rights movement, "Don't Look Back," on his only, self-titled, album. In 1994, 30 years after the two previous trials had failed to reach a verdict, De La Beckwith was again brought to trial based on new evidence, and Bobby DeLaughter took on the job as the prosecutor. During the trial, the body of Evers was exhumed from his grave for autopsy, and found to be in a surprisingly good state of preservation as a result of embalming. De La Beckwith was convicted of murder on February 5, 1994, after having lived as a free man for the three decades following the killing. De La Beckwith appealed unsuccessfully, and died in prison in January 2001.

In 1983, a made-for-television movie, For Us the Living: The Medgar Evers Story starring Howard Rollins, Jr. and Irene Cara as Myrlie Evers was aired, celebrating the life and career of Medgar Evers.

The 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi directed by Rob Reiner tells the story of the 1994 retrial of Beckwith, in which prosecutor Robert DeLaughter of the District Attorney's office secured a conviction. Beckwith and DeLaughter were played by James Woods and Alec Baldwin, respectively; Whoopi Goldberg played Myrlie Evers. Phil Ochs tells his story in the song "Too Many Martyrs." Robert DeLaughter wrote a first person narrative article titled "Mississippi Justice" published in Reader's Digest and a book "Never Too Late."

Evers's widow, Myrlie, became a noted activist in her own right later in life, eventually serving as chair of the NAACP. In October 2009, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, announced that USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE-13), a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship, will be named after him.

In 2001, their oldest son, Darrell Kenyatta Evers, died of colon cancer.

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