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Oliver Hill dies at 100

Retired Richmond civil rights lawyer Oliver W. Hill Sr. died this morning at the age of 100, reports The Associated Press.

Mr. Hill was one of the lawyers in the 1954 landmark decision, Brown v. Board of Education. He and his colleague Spotswood W. Robinson represented black students from Prince Edward County. Mr. Hill’s law school classmate, Thurgood Marshall, was lead counsel when the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said in a statement, “As a pioneer for civil rights, an accomplished attorney, and a war veteran, Mr. Hill’s dedication to serving the Commonwealth and the country never failed. And, despite all of the accolades and honors he received, Mr. Hill always believed his true legacy was working to challenge the conscience of our Commonwealth and our country.”

Monday morning update:

The news of Mr. Hill’s passing prompted a number of stories in the Aug. 6 editions of several newspapers. The Richmond Times-Dispatch has a career retrospective, as does the Washington Post.

Mr. Hill grew up in the Star City, and the Roanoke Times offers this article. The Associated Press has a piece containing reaction and tributes from a number of Virginia’s elected officials.

Not included in the AP item is a statement from the judges of the Richmond Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, who work in the Oliver Hill Courts Building in downtown Richmond.

Chief Judge Kimberly B. O’Donnell noted, “Oliver Hill inspired many people in our nation by his extraordinary advocacy for equal justice under the law. His entire career was focused upon improving the lives of ordinary people and their families. He greatly honored this Court by allowing it to bear his name.”

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