RICHMOND, Va. - Mildred Loving, a black woman whose challenge to Virginia's ban on interracial marriage led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling striking down such laws nationwide, has died, her daughter said Monday.
Peggy Fortune said Loving, 68, died Friday at her home in rural Milford. She did not disclose the cause of death.
"I want (people) to remember her as being strong and brave yet humble — and believed in love," Fortune told The Associated Press.
Loving and her white husband, Richard, changed history in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld their right to marry. The ruling struck down laws banning racially mixed marriages in at least 17 states.
"There can be no doubt that restricting the freedom to marry solely because of racial classifications violates the central meaning of the equal protection clause," the court ruled in a unanimous decision.
Her husband died in 1975.
Shy and soft-spoken, Loving shunned publicity and in a rare interview with The Associated Press last June, insisted she never wanted to be a hero — just a bride.
"It wasn't my doing," Loving said. "It was God's work."