Yuri Kochiyama, Human Rights Advocate and Malcom X Ally, Dies - Higher Education: Human rights activist Yuri Kochiyama — one of the most visible Asian Americans to fight alongside Blacks for equality in the 1960s and an ally of Malcolm X who comforted him as he lay dying — has died. She passed away in her sleep Sunday at age 93 in her Berkeley, Calif., home.
Kochiyama is perhaps most famous for cradling Malcolm X’s head in her lap as he died from gunshot wounds in 1965, an image captured in a Life magazine photo. She had been attending his appearance at New York City’s Audubon Ballroom when an assassin shot him, and she rushed to the stage. A Life magazine photo showed her fear.
A University of California, Santa Barbara professor of Asian American studies, Dr. Diane C. Fujino authored a biography titled “Heartbeat of Struggle: The Revolutionary Life of Yuri Kochiyama.”