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ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) -- Former Democratic state Rep. Bessie Moody-Lawrence of Rock Hill has died. She was 71.

King's Funeral Home says Moody-Lawrence died Tuesday at home.

Her daughter, University of South Carolina trustee Leah Moody, told The Herald (http://bit.ly/VT16Ih) her mother died from brain cancer.

Moody-Lawrence first won election to the state House in 1992. She decided not to seek a ninth term in 2008 after a nearly two-year fight with breast cancer.

The former teacher and Winthrop professor was known for her advocacy for children and the poor.

She is survived by three children. Her first husband, Northwestern High basketball coach Lindberg Moody Sr., died in 1980. Her second husband, Earl Lawrence, died in 2008.

Her nieces include Phylicia Rashad of The Cosby Show, and actress and choreographer Debbie Allen.

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