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Woman Who Won $7 Million Judgment Against Klan Dies

September 18, 1988 GMT

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) _ Beulah Mae Donald, who won a $7 million judgment last year against the Ku Klux Klan for the beating death of her son, has died at age 67.

″She’ll forever have a place in history as the woman who beat the Klan,″ said Morris Dees, the chief attorney for the Donald family in the case.

Mrs. Donald died of natural causes Saturday at a Mobile hospital.

Her 19-year-old son, Michael Donald, was strangled and fatally beaten and his body was found hanged from a tree in a Mobile neighborhood. Two Ku Klux Klansmen were convicted in the case.

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On Feb. 12, 1987, a jury awarded the family of Michael Donald a $7 million judgment against the Klan. The United Klans of America Inc. national headquarters building and property in Tuscaloosa was later deeded to the estate of Michael Donald.

″I just think she was a brave and courageous mother whose love for her son ensured that he did not die in vain,″ said Dees, who is director of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery.

Last December, Mrs. Donald was named one of Ms. Magazine’s 1987 Women of the Year.

Shortly after receiving the honor, Mrs. Donald said she never sought revenge.

″I wanted to know who all really killed my child,″ she said in December. ″I wanted to be assured ... I wasn’t even thinking about the money. If I hadn’t gotten a cent, it wouldn’t have mattered. I wanted to know how and why they did it.″