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Yuri Kochiyama, Civil Rights Activist And Friend Of Malcom X, Dies At 92 In Berkeley

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Yuri Kochiyama print (dignidadrebelde/Creative Commons)

Yuri Kochiyama print (dignidadrebelde/Creative Commons)

BERKELEY (CBS SF) — Civil right activist Yuri Kochiyama, whose photograph famously appeared in Life magazine cradling the head of Malcom X moments after he was shot, has died of natural causes in her Berkeley home. She was 93.

Kochiyama’s family says she died in her sleep Sunday.

Kochiyama had many accomplishments during 50 years of work. Her activism led directly to the U.S. Senate’s agreement to pay reparations and apologize to Japanese-Americans and others interred during World War II.

Kochiyama was living in New York when she forged an unlikely bond with Malcolm X. She witnessed his 1965 assassination in New York.

The California Assembly adjourned in her memory Thursday.

Kochiyama is the author of a memoir, “Passing It On,” and is survived by four living children and several grandchildren.

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