Hank Aaron died of natural causes in January and was laid to rest in Atlanta. He was 86

By Glenn Garner
April 14, 2021 05:58 PM
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Hank Aaron
Hank Aaron
| Credit: Louis Requena/MLB via Getty

A school in Atlanta is changing its name to honor the late MLB Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

The original name honored Confederate Army Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was a founding member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Following a unanimous vote, the Atlanta Board of Education is renaming Forrest Hill Academy, which will now be called the Hank Aaron New Beginnings Academy, according to USA Today.

"It is very important that we understand our history," said board member Michelle Olympiadis during the meeting. "It's very important that we understand where we are coming from."

The honor comes after Aaron died of natural causes in January. He was 86. Aaron was laid to rest in Atlanta, where he played nine years for the Braves.

Aaron ultimately played 21 seasons with the team, from 1954 to 1974, following them from their former home city of Milwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee to join the Brewers in the American League for his final two seasons.

Hank Aaron Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, Cooperstown, New York, USA - 28 Jul 2018
Hank Aaron
| Credit: MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Aaron famously broke Babe Ruth's career record for most home runs in 1974, setting a new record at 755, which was eclipsed by Barry Bonds in 2007.

hank aaron, jimmy carter
Credit: AP/Shutterstock

He opened up in the past about receiving thousands of racist letters daily, some including death threats, while chasing Ruth's record.

RELATED VIDEO: Hank Aaron, Hall of Famer and Baseball Legend, Dies at 86

"If I was white, all America would be proud of me," he said about a year before breaking Ruth's record, according to the Associated Press. "But I am Black."

The right fielder was also an activist in the civil rights movement.