The name Linda Brown probably does not automatically ring a bell with you.

There is unfortunate irony here. “Let freedom ring’’ is a cherished American term, and the circumstances surrounding Brown’s early life helped our country extend an important freedom that had been denied to millions for far too long.

Brown, who died Sunday at age 75, was only 9 years old when her father joined a lawsuit against the Topeka, Kan., Board of Education that demanded it reverse a policy allowing for racial segregation of schools.

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