Medgar Evers gave his life for equal rights for African Americans. His assassination called attention to racial hatred in the southern United States. He was one of the first martyrs of the civil-rights movement.
Medgar Wiley Evers was born on July 2, 1925 in Decatur, Mississippi. He was the third of four children of a small farm owner who also worked at a nearby sawmill.
During World War II he served in the U.S. Army. After the war he studied at Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in Mississippi. He entered college in 1948, majored in business administration, and graduated in 1952.
During his senior year he married a fellow student, Myrlie Beasley. After graduation the young couple moved near Evers’s hometown.