TIME History

Yuri Kochiyama, at Malcolm X’s Side When He Died, Is Dead at 93

Yuri Kochiyama, a long-time political activist who was famously photographed cradling Malcolm X's head at Harlem's Audubon Ballroom the night he was assassinated in February 1965, has died.

Yuri Kochiyama — a long-time political activist who famously appeared in a photo in LIFE, cradling Malcolm X’s head at Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom the night he was assassinated in February 1965 — died at her home in Berkeley, Calif., on Sunday. She was 93 years old.

Interned along with members of her family and tens of thousands of other Japanese-Americans during World War II, the California native and her husband, Bill Kochiyama — a Nisei soldier who fought for the U.S. during the war — were in the vanguard of countless civil-rights and social-justice battles over the last six decades.

[MORE: ‘Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam: Eve Arnold’s Quietly Powerful Portraits’]

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