Segregationist former Alabama Gov. John Patterson dies at 99

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File-This May 27, 2004, file photo shows former Alabama Gov. John Patterson reminiscing about the death of his father, attorney general-elect Albert Patterson during an interview with the Associated Press in Montgomery, Ala. Patterson, who entered politics as a reformer after his father’s assassination but was criticized for failing to protect the Freedom Riders from angry white mobs, has died. He was 99.
He died Friday, June 4, 2021, his daughter, Barbara Patterson Scholl confirmed Saturday. She said funeral arrangements are pending. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Former Alabama Gov. John Patterson has died at the age of 99. His daughter says he died Friday.

Patterson entered politics as a reformer after his father’s assassination but was criticized for failing to protect the Freedom Riders from angry white mobs. A segregationist as governor, he drew criticism when Freedom Riders were attacked while in Alabama.

Patterson did nothing to protect the activists who were seeking to integrate bus waiting rooms and lunch counters. He later voiced regret for what happened.

He ended his political career on the Court of Criminal Appeals, where he continued to write opinions into his 80s.

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