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Essie Mae Washington-Williams facts for kids

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Essie Mae Washington-Williams
Born (1925-10-12)October 12, 1925
Died February 4, 2013(2013-02-04) (aged 87)
Occupation Teacher
Spouse(s) Julius T. Williams
(1948–1964; his death)
Children 4
Parent(s) Strom Thurmond (father)
Carrie Butler (mother)

Essie Mae Washington-Williams (October 12, 1925 – February 4, 2013) was an American school teacher. She is best known as the oldest and natural child of Strom Thurmond, Governor of South Carolina and longtime United States Senator.

In 2003, she came forward and announced that she was the daughter of United States Senator, Strom Thurmond. Williams said that Thurmond paid for her college. She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Early life

Williams was born on October 12, 1925 in Edgefield, South Carolina to Strom Thurmond and his family's 16-year-old African American servant, Carrie Butler. She studied at New York University and the University of South Carolina.

Marriage and family

Williams was married to Julius T. Williams from 1948 until his death in 1964. They had four children.


Williams died on February 4, 2013 in her home in Columbia, South Carolina. She was 87.

  • Gross, Terry, "'Dear Senator', from Strom Thurmond's Daughter", Interview, National Public Radio, February 1, 2005.
  • Rather, Dan, "Essie Mae Washington-Williams", Interview, CBS 60 Minutes II, December 17, 2003

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