Ann Nixon Cooper, Centenarian Obama Voter, Dies at 107
Ann Nixon Cooper, an Atlanta, Georgia-based centenarian who voted for the first time in her life for President Barack Obama in 2008, died Monday, December 21, 2009 at the age of 107. Born in 1902, Nixon Cooper did not register to vote until September 1, 1941 but did not cast her ballot until 2008 for Barack Obama.
Following Obama's election, Nixon Cooper rose to fame when she was lauded by the President in his acceptance speech in which he dubbed the then-106 year-old an example of "the heartbreak and the hope" of the past century. Furthermore, Obama said of the activist, "she was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin [...] And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: 'Yes we can'."
Nixon Cooper was born in Shelbyville, Tennessee on January 9, 1902. By her early twenties she moved to Atlanta with her husband Albert Berry Cooper, with whom she had four children. When her husband died she received a letter from Martin Luther King Jr. sending his condolences. Nixon Cooper was friends with some of the most elite and well-respected African Americans in Atlanta including W.E.B. Du Bois and Benjamin Mays.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Nixon Cooper passed away in the same house she had lived in since 1938. Although the cause of death has yet to be released, Nixon Cooper was admitted to the hospital earlier for circulatory trouble.