BRANDON, Miss. (WLBT) - Charles Evers, a civil rights activist and older brother of Medgar Evers, died at 97 years old.
The Rankin County Coroner confirmed Evers’ death. He died surrounded by family in Brandon Wednesday morning.
According to Mississippi Civil Rights Project, Charles introduced his brother to the U.S. civil rights movement.
In 1969, Evers was elected the mayor of Fayette, Mississippi. He was the first African American mayor in Mississippi since Reconstruction.
He ran for governor and senator but was unsuccessful, later hosting a popular radio show for years after his political career ended.
The family of Evers released the following statement:
“This morning the world lost another fearless Civil Rights leader. The Honorable James Charles Evers, brother of slain civil rights leader Medgar Wiley Evers, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at the home of his daughter, Charlene Evers-Kreel.
One mission in the life of Charles Evers was to advance the work of his beloved brother, who was assassinated on June 12, 1963.
After the assassination, Charles Evers rushed to Jackson to continue fighting for equality and take his brother's place as field secretary for the Mississippi NAACP. In 1969, he became Mississippi's first black mayor since Reconstruction in the biracial town of Fayette, MS.
After serving as mayor, he returned to the airwaves with his radio program, "Let's Talk," on WMPR 90.1 "The Voice of the Community" in Jackson, Mississippi.
Our family appreciates the outpouring of affection, love, and support shown over the years. While our family is heartbroken by our loss, we are proud of the legacy he leaves behind. His voice will be missed but will continue to resound over his home state of Mississippi.
The Honorable James Charles Evers lived to be 97 years old.”