Mississippi politico, civil rights figure Charles Evers dies

Charles Evers | Source: WLBT

Charles Evers, the older brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers and a longtime figure in Mississippi politics, has died in Mississippi.

Posted: Jul 22, 2020 4:11 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Charles Evers, the older brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers and a longtime figure in Mississippi politics, died Wednesday. He was 97.

Evers died of “natural causes” at a home in the Jackson, Mississippi, suburb of Brandon, where he was surrounded by relatives, Rankin County Coroner David Ruth told The Associated Press. Ruth said the cause of death was not the coronavirus, and no autopsy is planned.

Charles and Medgar Evers both served in the military during World War II, and they became active in the NAACP when they returned to their home state of Mississippi and continued to face discrimination.

Medgar Evers had been field secretary for the Mississippi NAACP for more than eight years when he was assassinated outside his Jackson home in June 1963. In 1968, a former fertilizer salesman and self-avowed white supremacist, Byron De La Beckwith, went on trial twice in the killing, but all-white juries deadlocked and did not convict him.

The case was later revived, and a jury of eight African Americans and four white people convicted Beckwith of murder in 1994. The Mississippi Supreme Court upheld that conviction in 1997.

“Before, the killer of a Black man would go free. Now we know you just can’t go out and kill a Black man or woman and nothing is done,” Charles Evers said after that Supreme Court decision. “Justice finally came.”

Charles Evers was appointed to lead the Mississippi NAACP after his brother was killed. In 1969, he was elected mayor of the southwestern Mississippi town of Fayette, becoming the first Black mayor of a multiracial town in the state since Reconstruction.

During his widely varied career, Charles Evers ran several businesses in Chicago and Mississippi. A Mississippi Blues Trail marker commemorates his career as a concert promoter with blues legend B.B. King, and it notes that Charles Evers was once in the bootleg liquor business.

Charles Evers ran unsuccessfully for an open U.S. House seat as a Democrat in 1968. He served on the Democratic National Committee in the mid-1970s.

He ran as an independent for Mississippi governor in 1971 and for a U.S. Senate seat in 1978. Although he lost those elections, Evers influenced the outcome of the Senate race by drawing support away from the Democratic candidate. That led to a victory by Republican Thad Cochran, who later became chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee and remained in the Senate until early 2018.

Evers endorsed Ronald Reagan for president in 1980, and served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1996. He publicly supported Democrat Barack Obama for president in 2008 and 2012. After the 2016 presidential election, Evers cast one of Mississippi's six electoral votes for Republican Donald Trump. Evers described himself then as an “independent Republican.”

“I’m a great believer in earning something. Democrats always want to give away something,” Evers said after the electors voted.

He said he is a longtime supporter of Trump.

“He’s a multimillionaire,” Evers said. “I like rich folks. Can’t nobody buy him.”

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314710

Reported Deaths: 7254
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21646260
Hinds20369416
Harrison17949309
Rankin13643278
Jackson13450246
Madison10113217
Lee9986174
Jones8384163
Forrest7689152
Lauderdale7198240
Lowndes6403148
Lamar623686
Lafayette6203119
Washington5341134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462998
Panola4596107
Pearl River4519146
Marshall4450103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420872
Monroe4115133
Union411176
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3969110
Hancock379586
Leflore3498125
Sunflower336290
Tate334784
Pike3327105
Scott316274
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311770
Itawamba300577
Copiah297465
Coahoma295579
Simpson295388
Tippah288768
Adams286982
Prentiss280060
Marion269380
Leake268473
Wayne262841
Grenada261587
Covington259881
George248148
Newton246862
Winston227581
Tishomingo227067
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw208057
Holmes189174
Clay185554
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178941
Clarke178080
Calhoun170932
Yalobusha164638
Smith162534
Walthall134245
Greene130633
Lawrence128724
Montgomery127142
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton100025
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83923
Quitman81116
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67531
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 537813

Reported Deaths: 11024
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson791691529
Mobile41177808
Madison35002507
Tuscaloosa25871454
Shelby25076249
Montgomery24549591
Baldwin21290309
Lee15946171
Calhoun14556319
Morgan14364280
Etowah13890353
Marshall12262223
Houston10602282
Elmore10115206
Limestone10031151
St. Clair9890245
Cullman9730194
Lauderdale9449243
DeKalb8853188
Talladega8325176
Walker7259277
Autauga6971108
Jackson6830112
Blount6750139
Colbert6317134
Coffee5546119
Dale4869113
Russell444338
Chilton4343113
Franklin426282
Covington4138118
Tallapoosa4040152
Escambia394577
Chambers3581123
Dallas3564153
Clarke351361
Marion3137101
Pike311977
Lawrence302298
Winston275673
Bibb263064
Geneva252577
Marengo249664
Pickens234862
Barbour231956
Hale223677
Butler217869
Fayette212462
Henry189644
Cherokee184345
Randolph182042
Monroe178140
Washington167639
Macon160750
Clay156957
Crenshaw153357
Cleburne149241
Lamar143035
Lowndes139653
Wilcox127430
Bullock123041
Conecuh110629
Coosa108928
Perry107826
Sumter104932
Greene92634
Choctaw61024
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Columbus
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