Longtime civil rights lawyer William Taylor dies

Published July 5, 2010

WASHINGTON – William L. Taylor, a Washington lawyer and civil rights activist who fought in courts and in government to desegregate schools, has died. He was 78.

His oldest daughter, Lauren Taylor, says he died Monday of complications from a fall.

Taylor began advocating for civil rights while working for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund alongside Thurgood Marshall.

Taylor served as general counsel and staff director to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He led research that contributed to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

In the 1980s, he led negotiations that established a voluntary school desegregation plan in St. Louis.

Obituary Photos: Honor Those We Lost in 2009

Written by Associated Press

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