Fannie Lee Chaney

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Fannie Lee Chaney
Born Fannie Lee Chaney
September 4, 1921 (1921-09-04)
Died May 22, 2007 (2007-05-23) (aged 85)
Nationality American
Occupation Baker
Known for Civil rights activist

Fannie Lee Chaney (September 4, 1921 – May 22, 2007)[1] was an American baker turned civil rights activist after her son James Chaney was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan during the 1964 Freedom Summer rides in Mississippi.

After her son's murder, Mrs. Chaney sued five restaurants in Meridian for racial discrimination. She was fired from her job and could not find other work. Crosses were burned on her lawn, and a firebomb intended for her family’s house destroyed that of a neighbor. She moved to New York City, finding work at a nursing home. After 30 years, she retired and moved to New Jersey.

In 2005 she testified for the State of Mississippi in the murder case against Edgar Ray Killen, one of her son's killers. Killen was cleared of murder by the jury, but convicted of manslaughter and given a 60 years sentence, which he is serving.


A resident of Willingboro Township, New Jersey,[2] she died there in May 2007 of undisclosed causes, aged 84.[3] Three months later, Carolyn Goodman, the mother of Andrew Goodman, who was killed with Chaney, also died.


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index [database on-line]. Accessed on
  2. ^ Pettus, Emily Wagster via Associated Press. "Fannie Lee Chaney, 84, mother of slain civil rights worker", Boston Globe, May 24, 2007. Accessed February 5, 2013. "Her death was announced yesterday by her son, Ben, from her home in Willingboro, N.J."
  3. ^ Martin, Douglas (May 24, 2007). Fannie Lee Chaney, 84, Mother of Slain Civil Rights Worker, Is Dead. New York Times

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