Strom Thurmond’s Secret Biracial Daughter Dies At 87

Source: Alan Duke / CNN

Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the biracial woman who revealed nine years ago she was the illegitimate daughter of former segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond, died Monday, her family’s spokesman said. She was 87.

Washington-Williams kept her father’s identity secret until six months after Thurmond, a segregationist leader for decades, died in June 2003 at age 100.

“I never wanted to do anything to harm him or cause detriment to his life or to the lives of those around him,” Washington-Williams said at a 2003 news conference, six months after her father died at the age of 100.

She died at her Columbia, South Carolina, home Monday morning, according to Frank Wheaton.

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