1. Archive

Man who sued to desegregate Pinellas schools died

Charles Rutledge, who sued to desegregate Pinellas schools, died last month.

Rutledge and five other African-American families sued the Pinellas School Board in the federal case Leon W. Bradley Jr. vs. the Board of Public Instruction of Pinellas County.

Rutledge was 89 when he passed away on March. 21 after an illness. He was the last surviving plaintiff.

Andy Meacham, who writes obituaries for the Times, talked with Enrique Escarraz III, the lawyer who took over the case after James B. Sanderlin became a judge.

"It took some courage by the people who actually did that, because the attitude in the mid 1960s by the Southern white establishment toward black people was one of domination," Escarraz said. "There was a lot of violence toward blacks.

Read Andy's full story about Rutledge in today's paper or online here.