BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ George Washington Eames Jr., a plaintiff in a 1956 lawsuit that led to the desegregation of schools in Baton Rouge, La., has died. He was 79.

Eames’ wife, Theresa Andre Eames, tells The Advocate newspaper ( that he died of lung cancer at home in Baton Rouge on Saturday. Resthaven Gardens of Memory Funeral Home told The Associated Press his funeral will be this Saturday.

Eames was the president of the Baton Rouge NAACP until 1995, when he was he was convicted of molesting a juvenile and sentenced to serve more than three years in prison.

Eames was paralyzed from the waist down in 1956.

An investigation concluded he was shot unprovoked in the back while walking in a segregated neighborhood.

Eames also worked on behalf of people with disabilities.