desegregation

Updated at 2:00 a.m. ET Tuesday

Linda Brown, who as a schoolgirl was at the center of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that rejected racial segregation in American schools, died in Topeka, Kan., Sunday afternoon. She was 76.

Her sister, Cheryl Brown Henderson, confirmed the death to The Topeka Capital-Journal.

When Ruby Bridges was five years old, she was the only student in her New Orleans school because a judge had ordered the school integrated and white parents pulled out all of their children. The woman who was the subject of a legendary Norman Rockwell painting going to school guarded by white U.S. Marshals spoke at Niagara University Wednesday evening.

A long-respected Western New York jurist has died. Judge John T. Curtin passed away Friday at the age of 95.