Timuel Black Jr., historian and civil rights activist, dies at 102

CHICAGO – Labor organizer, educator, author and civil rights activist Timuel Black Jr. died Wednesday. He was 102.

Black entered hospice care in his South Side Chicago home more than two weeks ago, his wife, Zenobia Johnson-Black, told USA TODAY.

“I hope to celebrate his life every day of my life,” Johnson-Black said. “He was trying to make this world a better place. And that’s what he urged others to do. So that’s how I hope he’ll be remembered.”

Former President Barack Obama said “the world lost an icon” with Black’s passing Wednesday.

“Tim spent decades chronicling and lifting up Black Chicago history. But he also made plenty of history himself,” Obama said in a statement. Black attended Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009.

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