Or so it seems:
Essie May Washington-Williams was the daughter of Thurmond and his family’s black maid. The identity of her famous father was rumored for decades in political circles and the black community.
But not until after the South Carolina Republican died in 2003 at age 100 did Washington-Williams come forward and say her father was the white man who ran for president on a segregationist platform and served in the U.S. Senate for more than 47 years.
“I am Essie Mae Washington-Williams, and at last I am completely free,” Washington-Williams said at a news conference in a South Carolina ballroom revealing her secret.
Mrs. Washington-Williams died this week, aged 87.