Ruby Bridges

Civil Rights icon, activist, author, and speaker, Ruby Bridges stepped into history books in 1960 when at six years old she single-handedly broke down barriers by desegregating the all-white William Frantz Elementary school in New Orleans.

Forever immortalized in Norman Rockwell’s The Problem We All Live With, Bridges showed the nation her courage by bravely walking into her school each day through angry mobs, flanked by four US Marshals sent by then President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Her activism has never ceased. She is a New York Times bestselling author, and her most recent children’s book, Dear Ruby, Hear Our Hearts, was just released this year. She is the recipient of several honorary degrees and awards for her continued work to end racism and unify our communities.

Bridges established the Ruby Bridges Foundation to promote tolerance and create change through education. The Ruby Bridges Walk to School Day, initially legislated in California, has inspired a movement across the nation where kids commemorate her courage every November 14, coming together for a day of dialogue to be inspired and learn how they too can make a difference in this world.

Year Honored: 2024
Birth: 1954 -
Born In: Mississippi
Achievements: Humanities
Educated In: Louisiana