CHICAGO -- Civil rights leader Rev. Willie Barrow has passed away. She spent her life fighting for civil rights and she helped found Operation PUSH and worked with Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1950s and 60s.
She also was known as a crusader for AIDS victims and children. She helped campaign to elect Harold Washington, Chicago's first African-American mayor.
On his Facebook page, Rev. Jesse Jackson said of Barrow: "She was a woman of unusual courage and character. She was a freedom fighter. She fought in the tradition of Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer. She was fearless."
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel released the following statement:
“Reverend Barrow was a tremendous person, with a strong spirit and an unrelenting passion in seeking justice for all. While small in stature, this ‘Little Warrior’ never shied from a fight worth fighting. She was a true public servant in every sense. We have all benefited from her courageous work, and I am proud to have known her and learned from her example. I will miss her love and leadership.”
Barrow was hospitalized earlier this month with a blood clot in her lung. She was 90 years old.
At Operation Push Headquarters Thursday, fellow members and friends remembered Barrow as a woman who never backed down from a fight against injustice. Rev. Dr. Jeanette Wilson said Barrow showed that fighting spirit right up to the moment she died.