Pierson, Robert Laughlin, 1926-1997


Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1926, Robert Laughlin Pierson was an Episcopal priest in New York, New York when he was arrested for his participation in the Prayer Pilgrimage Freedom Ride in 1961. As part of the pilgrimage, Pierson, along with fourteen other Episcopal clergymen, traveled from New Orleans, Louisiana to Jackson, Mississippi where he and the others were arrested in the Trailways terminal on 13 September 1961. As the son-in-law of New York governor Nelson Rockefeller, Pierson's arrest drew national attention to the Freedom Rides of 1961. Pierson died of a heart attack on 13 April 1997 at the age of seventy-one.

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