Mildred Loving, whose challenge to Virginia law led to the Supreme Court decision overturning bans on racially mixed marriage, has died at the age of 68. Loving, who was black, and her white husband Richard pleaded guilty to “cohabiting as man and wife, against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth” before their suit led to a landmark civil-rights ruling in 1967.
Loving, whose husband died in a car accident in 1975, did not want to be known as a hero, the AP reports. But she heroically told one paper in 1965, “We loved each other and got married. We are not marrying the state. The law should allow a person to marry anyone he wants.” Her cause of death was not disclosed.