​November 12, 1994: Wilma Rudolph Died

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Rudolph died 54 from Cancer in her home in Nashville. In July 1994, shortly after her mother’s death, Rudolph was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Wilma also had throat cancer. 

She was interred at Edgefield Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee. At the time of her death, she had four children, eight grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Thousands of mourners filled Tennessee State University’s Kean Hall on November 17, 1994, for the memorial service in her honor. Others attended the funeral at Clarksville’s First Baptist Church. Across Tennessee, the state flag flew at half-mast.

9 months after Rudolph’s death, Tennessee State University, on August 11, 1995, dedicated its new six-story dormitory the “Wilma G. Rudolph Residence Center”. 

A black marble marker was placed on her grave in Clarksville’s Foster Memorial Garden Cemetery by the Wilma Rudolph Memorial Commission on November 21, 1995. 

In 1997, Governor Don Sundquist proclaimedthat June 23 be known as “Wilma Rudolph Day” in Tennessee.

Read more about her life and amazing legacy at: Daily Black History Facts

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