Jefferson Thomas (Civil Rights Leader)

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Jefferson Allison Thomas was one of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1999, Thomas and the other students of the Little Rock Nine were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bill Clinton.

Born: September 19, 1942, Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.
Died: September 5, 2010, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Movement: Civil Rights Movement
Spouse(s): Mary Thomas
Awards: Congressional Gold Medal, Spingarn Medal

About Jefferson Thomas

Famous as a member of The Little Rock Nine, he was a joint recipient of the 1999 Congressional Gold Medal, which was awarded four decades after he and eight other young people became the first African American students to attend Little Rock Central High School.

Before Fame

Before entering Little Rock Central High School in his sophomore year, he was a member of the track team at the nearby, segregated Horace Mann High School.

Achievement

He attended Wayne State University and Los Angeles State College and served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.

Family Life

He and his six older siblings grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas. He and his wife, Mary, later settled in Columbus, Ohio, with their son and Mary’s two older children.

Associations

He and Ernest Gideon Green were both members of the famous Little Rock Nine.

Information related to Jefferson Thomas

  • Nine from Little Rock Jefferson Thomas of the Little Rock Nine.
  • Little Rock Nine
  • Wayne State University alumni

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