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First black grad of U. of Alabama dies

ATLANTA, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Vivian Malone Jones, the first black student to graduate from the University of Alabama, died Thursday at 63 after suffering a stroke.

Jones, an Atlanta resident, was hospitalized on Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

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Vivian Malone and James Hood entered the university in 1963, where Autherine Lucy, the first black student, had been forced to drop out seven years earlier. They were personally escorted by Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach to a confrontation with Gov. George Wallace, who took his "stand in the schoolhouse door" -- actually the door to the auditorium.

In 1996, Jones was given the first Lurleen Wallace Award, named after Wallace's first wife, who succeeded her husband as governor. Wallace, presenting the award, praised Jones for her "grace, strength and, above all, courage."

Jones, who majored in business administration, went on to work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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