Sunday, July 3, 2022
One of First Black University of North Carolina Students Dies
By Associated Press
Published August 1, 2018

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says one of its first Black students has died.

News outlets report J. Kenneth Lee died last week. A funeral for the 94-year-old was Monday in Greensboro.

The university says in a statement that Lee was one of four African American students who helped integrate the campus. The four had joined a lawsuit filed in 1949 that led to the desegregation of the university’s law school.


Thurgood Marshall was then-director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and represented Lee and the other plaintiffs in the suit. Marshall later became the U.S. Supreme Court’s first African-American justice.

Lee enrolled in the law school in 1951 and became a prominent civil rights attorney in Greensboro after graduating. His career spanned more than five decades.

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