ST. LOUIS – Iconic civil rights activist Frankie Muse Freeman has died at the age of 101.
Freeman served as the lead counsel and won the landmark case against the St. Louis Housing Authority, which put an end to legal racial discrimination in public housing.
In 1946, she was the first woman to be appointed to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
In Nov. 2017, a bronze statue of Freeman was placed at the Kiener Plaza.
DeBorah Ahmed of Better Family Life said even though she's gone, her presence will still live on.
"For me, her presence is still very much here and her presence will always be here," Ahmed said. "She was a force to be reckoned with."
State representative Bruce Franks said, “We will keep her legacy alive and I’m pretty sure everybody else that has come in contact that loves her that understands the fight will as well.”
And Dietra Wise Baker who knew Freeman said she was a woman who could get things done.
"She got things done, she did the work day to day week to week," she said.
Freeman was born on Nov. 24, 1916 in Danville, Virginia.
Sen. Claire McCaskill’s statement
“Frankie Freeman—courageous, strong, and with a towering intellect—paved the way for both black and women attorneys. She was a civil rights icon, a mentor, and a dear friend. The world will miss her righteous passion. We have lost a St. Louis legend.”
Statement from the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis
The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis expresses our deepest sympathy upon the passing of our Civil Rights Icon Ms. Frankie Muse Freeman. She was our first female board chair and the longest serving member of our Board of Directors, the first woman appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and founder of the Citizen’s Commission on Civil Rights. In 1954, she was the lead attorney on the landmark case which ended public housing discrimination in St. Louis.
She lived a life of 101 years that stood for equality, fairness and equity that was truly an inspiration to us all. As the Urban League celebrates our 100th anniversary we recognize that Frankie’s life helped shape the mission, aspirations, vision and goals of our organization.
We express our deepest sympathy to her daughter Shelbe Bullock and the entire family, the St. Louis area, and the Civil Rights community for this great loss. We will greatly miss Frankie’s wisdom and friendship for years to come.