Beloved WWII veteran and activist dies at 102

Dr. Johnnie A. Jones Sr.
Dr. Johnnie A. Jones Sr.(WAFB)
Published: Apr. 24, 2022 at 11:44 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2022 at 7:01 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Born in Laurel Hill, Louisiana back in 1919, Dr. Johnnie A. Jones Sr. grew up during the Jim Crow laws and had no idea what he would accomplish in his life. This weekend, at 102-years-old, he tragically passed away.

His nephew George says it was Dr. Jones’ tough personality that he looked up to. As a kid, he remembers a time when his uncle gave him a pep talk after a serious injury had gotten him down.

“He said if you have to hit me then you can hit me, cuz I can take it... I never forgot that day,” said George.

It was that same toughness that got him through fighting the Germans in WWII.

Just last year, Jones received a Purple Heart for fighting on the beaches of Normandy while injured. He later earned many other awards in his life, for his achievements. He went on to get a law degree from Southern University, where from there he began his work advocating for civil rights.

“People recognized Johnnie A. Jones Senior as being a civil rights attorney and helping to shape the social aspects of life in the state of Louisiana and in the United States,” said Dr. Jones’ cousin John A. Jones Jr.

As an attorney, Dr. Jones was involved in several landmark cases. One of them included the Baton Rouge Bus Boycott of 1953.

“Johnnie had a background of dealing with the harshness of society... that made him fully suited to be able to handle the civil rights of African Americans and others,” Jones Jr. continued.

He was also heavily involved with the Baton Rouge chapter of the NAACP.

“I mean you’re talking about a certified legend. Somebody who pioneered some of the greatest legal cases or co-pioneered some of the greatest legal cases that the NAACP has launched in this state. So, when you say Dr. Johnnie Jones...I mean you’re talking about a giant,” said President of the NAACP Baton Rouge chapter, Eugene Collins.

Although Jones is no longer physically here, his accomplishments will never fade, and his legacy will inspire generations to come.

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