Cincinnati Civil Rights Pioneer Marian Spencer Dead at Age 99

July 10, 2019

By Lucy May, WCPO

Marian Spencer, a Cincinnati civil rights pioneer best known for her fight to integrate Coney Island and its swimming pool in the 1950s, has died, according to Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney of the Cincinnati Hearld, who spoke to Spencer's son.

She was 99.

Spencer last spoke to WCPO in March during a ceremony where four Winton Hills Academy students told her they won a national competition for a book called “Marian Spencer: A Light in the Darkness” that they created about her life.

Cincinnati Public Schools renamed a Walnut Hills elementary school the Donald A. and Marian Spencer Education Center. 

Full Story and Photos at

Read about Winton Hills Students' book about Marian Spencer