Education

Black student who helped desegregate UNC Chapel Hill dies

Posted January 2, 2018 4:32 p.m. EST

— One of the first three African-American undergraduate students to successfully challenge racial segregation at North Carolina's flagship public university has died at the age of 80.

Family members said Tuesday that LeRoy Frasier suffered heart failure and died Dec. 29 at a hospital in New York City. He had taught English in New York for many years.

Frasier; his brother, Ralph; and John Lewis Brandon were students at Hillside High School in Durham when they applied to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1955. They were rejected until a federal court judge ordered UNC-Chapel Hill to admit them.

The Frasier brothers completed three years before Ralph left for the Army and LeRoy for the Peace Corps. Both later graduated from what's now North Carolina Central University.