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SC man who apologized for racist past dies

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ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina man who publicly apologized for years of violent racism, including the beating of a black Freedom Rider who went on to become a Georgia congressman, has died. He was 76.

Judy Wilson says her husband, Elwin, died Thursday at a hospital. He had been suffering from the flu after years of heart and lung problems.

Wilson gained nationwide attention in 2009, when he apologized for a racist past that included beating up Freedom Riders at the Rock Hill bus station in 1961. Among them was Georgia Rep. John Lewis.

Lewis told the Herald of Rock Hill on Saturday that Wilson's story is a powerful one that must not be forgotten.

Judy Wilson says her husband seemed at ease about his past when he died.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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