Karl Fleming, Journalist Who Covered Civil Rights Era, Dies at 84


Karl Fleming, a former Newsweek reporter who dodged bullets and choked on tear gas while covering some of the most momentous events of the civil rights era, died on Aug. 11 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84.

The cause was respiratory illness, his son Charles said.

A son of the South, Mr. Fleming was in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on June 11, 1963, when Gov. George C. Wallace fulfilled his pledge to “stand in the schoolhouse door” and then stepped aside when handed a presidential order to allow two black students to enroll at the University of Alabama. Days later, Mr. Fleming was in Jackson, Miss., reporting on the murder of the civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

He covered the Freedom Summer of 1964, when college students from around the country went to Mississippi to join in a voter registration drive. And after three of those volunteers — Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman — were jailed, released and found shot to death weeks later, Mr. Fleming was one of the first two reporters to arrive in Philadelphia, Miss....

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