Betty Shabazz

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Betty Shabazz

Betty Shabazz (born Betty Jean Sanders) (May 28, 1936June 23 1997), also known as Betty X, was the widow of the late Malcolm X.

Shabazz was born in Detroit, Michigan. After high school, she attended Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, and then the Brooklyn State Hospital School of Nursing. She obtained a Master's Degree in Public Health administration and a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Shabazz and her husband Malcolm X had six children together, all daughters: Attilah (b. 1958), Qubilah (b. 1960), Ilyasah (b. 1963), Gamilah (b. 1964) and twins Malaak and Malikah (b. 1965).

On 1 June 1997, Shabazz's grandson, Malcolm, who was living with her at the time, set fire to her Westchester County, NY apartment. Shabazz suffered burns over 80% of her body and remained in intensive care for three weeks, until she died on 23 June 1997. Her grandson was later sentenced to eighteen months in juvenile detention for manslaughter.

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