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Clyde Kennard Is Dead

July 5, 1963 - Clyde Kennard, a Negro who once tried unsuccessfully to enter an all-white college in Mississippi, died last night at the University of Chicago hospital. He was 36 years old. Mr. Kennard (pictured with his sister in February) first entered the hospital February 2 after being released from a Mississippi prison, where he was serving a 7-year term on a theft conviction in 1960. A 17-year-old youth testified that Mr. Kennard paid him to steal $25 worth of chicken feed from the Forrest County Cooperative warehouse. There were serious doubts raised about Mr. Kennard’s guilt, and he is widely believed to have been framed. The jury had no Negroes on it. After Mr. Kennard’s conviction, Medgar Evers, the civil rights leader slain last month, was cited by the court for contempt after he issued a statement that the conviction was “a mockery of judicial justice.” On Jan. 29 of this year, Governor Ross Barnett suspended Mr. Kennard’s sentence indefinitely because Mr. Kennard was suffering from colon cancer. Mr. Kennard was released from prison on January 30. Comedian Dick Gregory paid for his flight to Chicago for medical treatment. Two surgeries failed to arrest his cancer.


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