Byron De La Beckwith

Byron De La Beckwith
Byron De La Beckwith.jpg
Born(1920-11-09)November 9, 1920
DiedJanuary 21, 2001(2001-01-21) (aged 80)
NationalityAmerican
OccupationSalesman
Known forThe assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers
Spouse(s)
Mary Louise Williams (m. 1946–1960)

Thelma Neff (m. 1982–2001)
(his death)[1][2]
ChildrenDelay De La Beckwith

Byron De La Beckwith Jr. (November 9, 1920 – January 21, 2001) was an American white supremacist and Klansman from Greenwood, Mississippi, who assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963. Two trials in 1964 on this charge resulted in hung juries. In 1994, he was tried by the state in a new trial based on new evidence; he was convicted of the murder and sentenced to life in prison. Seven years after being convicted of killing Evers, De La Beckwith died in prison in 2001 at age 80.

Early life

De La Beckwith was born in Colusa, California, the son of Susan Southworth Yerger and Byron De La Beckwith Sr., who was the town's postmaster.[3] His father died of pneumonia when he was five years old.[4] One year later, De La Beckwith and his mother settled in Greenwood, Mississippi, to be near family. His mother died of lung cancer when he was 12 years old,[5] leaving him orphaned. He was raised by his maternal uncle William Greene Yerger and his wife.[5]