The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum mourns the passing of author, disability advocate, and attorney Harriet McBryde Johnson.
A lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina, Ms. Johnson advocated for the civil rights of working people with disabilities. She was active for many years in the struggle for social justice, especially disability rights, earning national recognition for her work and contributing frequently to the New York Times Magazine. In 2005 she published the memoir Too Late to Die Young.
In a 2006 presentation at the Museum titled “Legitimizing the Unthinkable,” she brought a disability rights perspective to bear on issues raised by the Museum’s Deadly Medicine exhibition, which explores how Nazi leadership used science to help legitimize persecution, murder and, ultimately, genocide.