Who is Roy Bryant Jr., the son of Carolyn Bryant? Top facts

Who is Roy Bryant Jr., the son of Carolyn Bryant? Top facts

The Bryant family came into the limelight in the mid-1950s following the brutal killing of Emmett Till in Mississippi. Carolyn, whose accusations led to the teenager's demise, had two young sons, Lamar and Roy Bryant Jr, at the time. What happened to her son Roy Jr?

A young Roy Bryant Jr with family.
Carolyn with her husband Roy Bryant Sr and their sons Roy Jr (R) and Lamar (L) during the trial for the Emmitt Till case. Photo: Bettmann
Source: Getty Images

The Bryants were never indicted for their involvement in Emmett's murder, but their lives were never the same. Their actions propelled a strong Civil Rights Movement against racially motivated hate crimes.

Roy Bryant Jr's profile summary and bio

Full nameRoy Bryant Jr.
Date of birth12 June 1952
Place of birthIndianola, Sunflower County, Mississippi, United States
Date of death29 September 1995
Place of deathBridge City, Orange County, Texas, United States
Age at death43 years
Cause of deathCystic fibroids
Resting placeNibletts Bluff Cemetery, Vinton, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, United States
Sexual orientationStraight
Marital statusWas married
ParentsCarolyn Bryant Donham (1934 to 2023) and Roy Bryant (1931 to 1994)
SiblingsThree, including Lamar Thomas and Frank Lee
ProfessionUS Air Force soldier

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Who is Roy Bryant Jr?

Roy was the eldest child of Carolyn and her then-husband Roy Bryant Sr. He was born on 12 June 1952 in Indianola, Mississippi, before his family relocated to Money, Mississippi, in 1953, where they owned a store and lived in the back rooms.

His mother looked after the family store while his father worked as a trucker. Roy Jr was only three years old when his family was infamously linked to the brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till. He occasionally accompanied his parents to his father's murder trial.

What did Roy Bryant Jr do for a living?

After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the US Air Force. It is unclear what he did after his service. Roy and his wife welcomed three children, two sons and a daughter.

Where is Roy Bryant Jr?

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Roy Jr passed away on 29 September 1995 (43 years) in Bridge City, Orange County, Texas, United States, after suffering from cystic fibroids. Roy Bryant Jr's obituary was not made public. His memorial page on Find a Grave.com reveals he was laid to rest at Niblett's Bluff Cemetery in Vinton, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

The Emmett Till whistle trial
The Bryant family during the trial for Emmett Till's murder case. Photo: Bettmann (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Did Carolyn Bryant have any children?

Carolyn and her husband Roy Bryant Sr had four children: Lamar, Roy Jr, Frank Lee, and a daughter. She had two sons when Emmitt Till was killed in 1955.

The family relocated to Texas before Carolyn divorced Roy Sr several years later. She was married twice after the divorce, but it is unclear if she had more children.

What is the true story of Emmett Till?

21-year-old Carolyn accused 14-year-old Emmett Till from Chicago of whistling and making advances at her when he came into her store to buy bubble gum. Till was visiting his relatives in Mississippi and had accompanied his cousins to pick cotton at a nearby farm.

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The children reportedly ran away after one of them said Carolyn was going to get a pistol. Carolyn told her sister-in-law what had happened, and they agreed not to inform their husbands. However, when Roy Sr and his half-brother JW Milam returned, one of the kids at the scene told them what had happened, and they wanted to teach Emmett a lesson.

The men invaded Emmett's great-uncle's home at about 2.30 a.m. on 28 August 1955 and abducted the teenager at gunpoint. They beat the boy and then shot him before throwing him into the Tallahatchie River, where he was found several days later.

Despite the case being classified as a federal hate crime, sparking a Civil Rights Movement and the two men admitting to doing the crime, no one was held accountable for the teenager's death. In August 2022, a Mississippi jury failed to indict Carolyn due to insufficient evidence.

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The Bryant family
Roy Bryant Sr (R) and JW Milam (L) with their wives after being acquitted in the Emmett Till murder trial. Photo: Bettmann
Source: Getty Images

Did Emmett Till whistle at Bryant?

Several witness accounts reveal Carolyn spent about one minute alone with Emmett on the day she accused him of making improper advances. In Timothy Tyson's 2017 book, The Blood of Emmett Till, the professor revealed that Carolyn confessed in 2007 that she had fabricated her testimony.

However, in her unpublished memoir obtained by reporters, she stands by her first testimony. She calls herself a victim and claims she had pleaded with her husband not to hurt the boy. Till's family and civil rights lawyers, who have followed the case closely, reveal that her memoir has many inaccuracies.

What was the cause of death for Roy Bryant?

Roy Bryant Sr passed away from cancer in 1994 at his home in Ruleville, Mississippi, almost four decades after his infamous involvement in Till's murder. He was 63.

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What happened to Carolyn Bryant?

88-year-old Carolyn died in April 2023 in Westlake, Louisiana, after being diagnosed with cancer. In 2022, the Daily Mail reported she was living in hospice care in a Kentucky apartment with her son Lamar Thomas.

Carolyn Bryant's family
Carolyn Bryant and Juanita Milam (the wives of Roy Bryant and John William Milam). Photo: Bettman
Source: Getty Images

Roy Bryant Jr was a toddler when her mother became known across the US as the white woman behind Emmett Till's brutal killing. He stayed out of the limelight and lived a normal life until his unfortunate death.

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Source: Briefly News

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Alice Wabwile (Lifestyle writer) Alice Wabwile is a multifaceted content creator and Project Assistant at AfDAN, boasting over four years of experience. Holding a BCom degree from the University of Nairobi School of Business, she has cultivated a dynamic skill set through roles such as her tenure at Strathmore University's Data Science Department, where she contributed significantly to research. Recognized for her exceptional talent, she clinched the Writer of the Year Award. Beyond her professional endeavours, Alice is an engaged member of the Rotaract Club of Kabete. For inquiries, reach out to her at alicenjoro01@gmail.com