September 6th, 2010
12:23 PM ET

'Little Rock Nine' student dies of cancer

Jefferson Thomas, left, with members of the "Little Rock Nine" and former President Bill Clinton in 1998.

Jefferson Thomas, one of the so-called "Little Rock Nine," the nine students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, has died, according to Carlotta Walls LaNier, president of the group's foundation. He was 67.

Thomas died of pancreatic cancer on Sunday, the Little Rock Nine Foundation said in a statement.

As a 15-year-old, Thomas was one of the nine African-American students who braved segregationist mobs to integrate the all-white school under the protection of military forces.

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soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Chloe

    Why did CNN say one of the "so called nine"? And Honestly ppl stop waisting time on number one.. They're a nobody and wants the attention you guys are given.

    September 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • cindy

      Chloe: You are so right!!! why did CNN indicate the "so called nine". Mr. Thomas was apart of the well renowned "NINE". is CNN trying to be sarcastic or what??? I do not understand.

      September 6, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mr love

    Big B. has only expressed his opinion. those who r calling him names r not better than him! peace.

    September 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MartyIsHere

    Civil rights hero. RIP.

    September 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. marais morris

    no one should respond the "Big B" because that comment is there only because he/she has no friends and needs the validation of a web post to prove that someone cares about what he/she has to say. as for jefferson thomas [i alsmost wrote "davis" by mistake], i saw a picture of him on another site when he was still a teenager entering central high and another picture of him just before he died and it was like looking at two different people. the youthful picture showed eyes filled with hope, wide and looking upward; the older picture showed downcast yes that looked sad, that had lost all hope. most sad, though, was his support of republican candidates. he even said that he was glad obama was not running against huckabee. what a tragic life. how sad.

    September 6, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  5. el baboso


    September 6, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. el baboso

    Thanks lil rock that the monkeys are out the cage we have pimps and hoes drinking jin and juice singing tik tok!!!

    September 6, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Awww Yeah?

      so typical for you to say such a thing!!! get a life and get over yourself!

      January 14, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. Pat

    I agree with Yusof. To the family of Mr. Thomas-you have my deepest sympathy! I find it truly amazing that a 15 year old boy, would risk everything including life itself, to see that ALL are created equal! When so many of todays teenagers are wrapped up in gangs, drugs, and violence, Mr. Thomas did something good for all. God bless Mr. Thomas! Now you can rest in peace.

    September 6, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Katya

    God rest his soul

    September 6, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RAE

    never have blogged b4. This man was a beautiful child of the creator who overcame much @ a young age. No one should waste 2 much time commenting on ignorant comments like I just did. He still does have a right 2 his opinion. I have a responsibility 2 pray 4 the haters 2.

    September 7, 2010 at 3:02 am | Report abuse |
  10. carroll

    if it wasnt for thomas jefferson i wouldnt be here!

    September 7, 2010 at 5:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. david glenn

    peace to Mr. Thomas and to the Little Rock Nine and to his loved ones, friends and community. I am caucasian/native american and feel that none of us would be where we are today without these brave souls. We have a long way to go, have come soooo far. Peace love and prayers to all who mourn today, we all have lost greatness on that day.

    September 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. david glenn

    it is a sad day for all per my comments above .... To all in little prayers...peace love n harmony.... Lets all be brothers n sisters ..

    September 7, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. owen eden

    BigB is just trying to get arise out of all you and he did it. All of YOU are the ones who should be embarassed for acknowledging him. Never make time for stupidity. Jefferson Thomas was able to ignore people like BigB and just "keep his eye on the Prize. I could never have done what Jefferson Thomas did. I do not think I could have handled the anxiety and stress of not knowing what to face on a day to day basis. I am not even sure I would allow my children to go through this either.

    September 15, 2010 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
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