- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 7, 2015

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Andrew Heidelberg, who was on the forefront of integrating Virginia’s public schools, has died. He was 74.

Heidelberg’s wife, Luressa Heidelberg, told The Virginian-Pilot (https://bit.ly/1HdmrXC ) that the Hampton resident died Monday from complications following surgery.

Heidelberg was among 17 students - dubbed the “Norfolk 17” - who enrolled in Norfolk’s all-white public schools in 1959 after state and federal litigation reopened them. Gov. J. Linsday Almond had shut down schools in Norfolk, Charlottesville and Warren County in 1958 as part of Virginia’s “Massive Resistance” to prevent schools from being integrated.

Heidelberg said at a 2012 event in Richmond that white students at Norview High School subjected him to physical threats and racial epithets.

But the school allowed him to play football his senior year, and he became a star player.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, https://pilotonline.com

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