Civil Rights lawyer Oliver Hill dies

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Hill, far left, attends the swearing in of Martin A., the first African American to work for the Department of Justice on May 31, 1943.

Oliver Hill, an American Civil Rights lawyer died today at the age of 100. Hill was attending breakfast, when he died "peacefully," said a friend of Hill's family, Joseph Morrissey. The cause is not yet known.

"As a pioneer for civil rights, an accomplished attorney, and a war veteran, Mr. Hill's dedication to serving the commonwealth and the country never failed," said Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine in a statement released to the press.

Hill won African American teachers the right to have equal pay in 1940, which was the first civil rights case he won in his career.

He was also the first African American to be elected to the city council in Richmond, Virginia in 1948.

Hill also filed several lawsuits against racial segregation in the U.S. public school systems in 1954. Those lawsuits later became as the 'Brown vs. Board' which overturned laws dating back to 1896 which ruled that separate schools for African Americans and White Americans were "unequal."