Member of Memphis State Eight dies, university announces

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ralph Prater, a member of the Memphis State Eight, has died, according to the University of Memphis.

Prater was among the first group of African-American students to enroll at the university in 1959.

In a tweet, the UofM made the following statement on Prater’s passing:

Prater’s impact on our institution and community is immeasurable, and we will forever celebrate his remarkable courage and legacy.

Four other members of the group have previously died: Sammie Burnett Johnson in 2011; Rose Blakney Love and Eleanor Gandy in 2017; and John Arthur Simpson in 2020.

MORE: ‘Memphis State 8′ reflect on their time on campus 60 years ago, changes for the future