J.W. Milam Wiki, Cause of Death, Wife, Family, Age, Kids, and Facts

J.W. Milam is a name that became infamous for his involvement in one of the most brutal and racially motivated crimes in American history. Along with his half-brother, Roy Bryant, Milam was responsible for the kidnapping, torture, and murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in August 1955.

The case was a turning point in the civil rights movement, and the trial of Milam and Bryant, which ended in their acquittal, remains a stain on the American justice system. In this article, we will delve deeper into the life of J.W. Milam, exploring his background, family, and the events that led to his notoriety.

J.W. Milam Early Life and Education

John William Milam, also known as J.W. Milam, was born on February 18, 1919, in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, USA. He used to enjoy his birthday with his family members. Additionally, his age was 61 years old at the time of his death.

J.W. Milam wiki

He maintained a low-key life but gained the limelight after his involvement in the brutal murder of a teenage child named Emmett Till. He completed his schooling at a local school in the region.

After his studies, he got admission to a renowned college for further education. However, the details about his educational institutions are not available at the moment but we will try to update this as soon as possible.

Full NameJohn William Milam
Birthday18 February 1919
Age61 years old (at death time)
BirthplaceTallahatchie County, Mississippi, USA
ParentsWilliam Leslie Milam and Eula Lee Morgan Bryant
SiblingsHenry Edward Milam
Spencer Lamar Milam
Daniel Warren Milam
Leslie Field Milam
Half-brotherRoy Bryant
WifeMary Juanita Thompson Milam (m. 1949)
Marital statusMarried
GirlfriendMary Juanita Thompson Milam
KidsHorace William Milam

J.W. Milam Family and Siblings

His parents, William Leslie Milam and Eula Lee Morgan Bryant, were an integral part of his upbringing. William Leslie Milam worked as a sharecropper, struggling to make ends meet like many others in the predominantly agricultural region. Eula Lee Morgan Bryant, J.W. Milam’s mother, played a significant role in raising her children and instilling their values.

J.W. Milam and his half brother
J.W. Milam and his half-brother Roy Bryant

Milam had several siblings, including three brothers named Henry Edward Milam, Spencer Lamar Milam, and Daniel Warren Milam. Leslie Field Milam was his only sister. Growing up in a rural community, the Milam siblings likely experienced the hardships and prejudices commonly associated with the time and place.

Milam’s half-brother, Roy Bryant, played a central role in the events that would ultimately lead to the murder of Emmett Till. Roy Bryant was married to Carolyn Bryant, a white woman who accused Till of making advances toward her at their family’s store in Money, Mississippi.

J.W. Milam Wife and Kids

In 1949, J.W. Milam and Mary Juanita Thompson tied the knot in holy matrimony. They embarked on a journey together, vowing to support and love each other through thick and thin. Mary Juanita, known by her friends and family as Juanita, stood by J.W. Milam as his wife throughout the years, even during the darkest period of their lives.

J.W. Milam with his wife
J.W. Milam with his wife Mary Juanita Thompson

Their union bore witness to the birth of a son, Horace William Milam. Born into a world brimming with racial tension and prejudice, Horace would grow up in the shadows of his father’s actions. Despite the circumstances, the young Horace was undoubtedly influenced by his father and the beliefs he held.

J.W. Milam’s Death Cause

J.W. Milam died on December 31, 1980, at the age of 54. He was buried in the Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Senatobia, Mississippi, under the name “James W. Milam.” His death was not widely reported, and there was little fanfare or attention paid to his passing.

J.W. Milam death

However, Milam’s legacy as one of the perpetrators of one of the most heinous crimes in American history remains, and his role in the Till case will forever be remembered as a dark moment in the country’s history. Reportedly, he died because of Spinal Cancer.

Height and Weight

Weight76 kg
Hair colorBrown
Eye colorBrown
Alma materPrivate University
HomepageTap Link

Emmett Till Murder, Trial and Acquittal

In August 1955, Milam and Roy Bryant abducted Emmett Till from his great-uncle’s home in Money, Mississippi. Till, a young Black boy from Chicago, was visiting relatives in the area when he allegedly whistled at Carolyn Bryant, who was working as a cashier at a local store. J.W. Milam and Bryant beat Till, gouging out one of his eyes, before shooting him in the head and dumping his body in the Tallahatchie River.

Emmett Till
Emmett Till

Milam and Bryant were arrested and stood trial for Till’s murder in September 1955. The trial was held in Sumner, Mississippi, and lasted for five days. Despite overwhelming evidence of their guilt, including a confession from J.W. Milam himself, the all-white, all-male jury acquitted both men of all charges after deliberating for less than an hour.

Carolyn Bryant
Carolyn Bryant


The acquittal of Milam and Bryant sparked outrage across the country and brought national attention to the issue of racial violence in the South. The case became a rallying cry for the civil rights movement and galvanized activists who were fighting for equality and justice.

Milam and Bryant both lived the rest of their lives in relative obscurity. In 1980, Bryant died of cancer at the age of 63. Milam passed away in 1980 at the age of 61.

J.W. Milam killed Emmett Till

In addition to this, Carolyn Bryant passed away on 25 April 2023 at the age of 88 years old. She was living with her younger son named Lamar Bryant, who was a US Navy Veteran. Carolyn also had an elder son named Roy Bryant Jr. Carolyn Bryant divorced her first husband Roy and got wedded to David Donham.

Facts of J.W. Milam

  • The Emmett Till case is widely regarded as one of the most significant events in the civil rights movement.
  • In a shocking twist, just a few months after the trial, Milam and Bryant confessed to their involvement in Till’s murder in an interview with Look magazine.
  • J.W. Milam continued to live in Mississippi after the trial, facing public condemnation but escaping legal consequences.
  • Till’s legacy lives on as a symbol of the ongoing struggle for racial justice, and the case remains a somber reminder of the deep scars left by racism in American history.


  1. Who was J.W. Milam?

    J.W. Milam was one of two men who were accused and acquitted of the murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955.

  2. What happened to Emmett Till?

    Emmett Till was a black teenager from Chicago who was visiting relatives in Mississippi when he was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by Milam and his accomplice, Roy Bryant, for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

  3. Was J.W. Milam convicted for his role in the murder of Emmett Till?

    Milam and Bryant were initially charged with murder, but they were acquitted by an all-white jury after a brief trial that lasted just five days.

  4. What is J.W. Milam’s cause of death?

    Spinal cancer.

Ridhi Kashyap, an Indian Blogger, Writer, and Content creator hailing from Ludhiana, Punjab. With her passion for writing and creativity, Ridhi has captured the attention of audiences with her engaging content on diverse topics such as entertainment, movies, TV shows, and the latest news.

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