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Beulah Mae Donald; Sued Klan, Won

September 20, 1988|From Times Wire Services

MOBILE, Ala. — Beulah Mae Donald, who last year won a $7-million judgment against the Ku Klux Klan for the brutal killing of her son, has died of what was described only as "natural causes." She was 67.

The mother of Michael Donald, who was 19 when he was beaten, hanged and had his throat cut by Klansmen in March, 1981, died in a hospital here Saturday.

"She'll forever have a place in history as the woman who beat the Klan," said Morris Dees, executive director of the Southern Poverty Law Center and the chief attorney for the Donald family in the case against the Klan. "I just think she was a brave and courageous mother whose love as a mother ensured that he did not die in vain."

Several months after Michael Donald's body was found hanged from a tree in a Mobile neighborhood, two Klansmen were convicted in the case.

Not content with the sentences they received, Mrs. Donald filed a civil lawsuit against the Klan and on Feb. 12, 1987, a jury awarded the family a $7-million judgment.

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