He'd been born there just short of fifty years earlier. He farmed and raised nine children. He joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. When SNCC brought its voter registration classes to southwestern Mississippi, Led attended, despite his wife's opposition.
Lee was shot and killed in broad daylight in the parking lot of a cotton gin in Liberty, Mississippi by state Representative E. H. Hurst in front of several witnesses, both black and white. A coroner's jury ruled the shooting an act of justifiable homicide that afternoon. Hurst claimed that Lee had come at him with a tire iron, that he had hit him with his pistol in self-defense, and the gun went off.
The African-American witness, Louis Allen, eventually told the real story to FBI agents (sent from Alabama for the purpose; there was no FBI office in all of Mississippi). He was found shot to death out side his home on January 31, 1964. Neither crime has ever been "solved".