Daisy Bates

Daisy Bates Brief Biography

Daisy Lee Gatson Bates (November 11, 1914 " November 4, 1999) was an American civil rights activist, publisher, and writer who played a leading role in the Little Rock Integration Crisis of 1957.

Bates was raised by Orle and Susie Smith, whom she believed to be her birth parents for many years. In "The Death of my Mother," Bates recounted learning as a child that her birth mother had been murdered by three local white men. Her father left the family shortly after her mother's death and left her in the care of his closest friend. L.C. Bates, an insurance salesman who had also worked on newspapers in the South and West. L. C. dated her for several years, and they married in 1942, living in Little Rock. The Bateses decided to act on a dream of theirs, the ownership of a newspaper. They leased a printing plant that belonged to a church publication and inaugurated the Arkansas State Press. The first issue appeared on May 9, 1941. The paper became an avid voice for civil rights even before a nationally recognized movement had emerged.

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