Essie Mae Washington-Williams: Strom Thurmond's Mixed-Race Daughter

Washington-Williams revealed in 2005 that the former senator of South Carolina was her father.
5:05 | 02/05/13

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Transcript for Essie Mae Washington-Williams: Strom Thurmond's Mixed-Race Daughter
My name is -- Mae Washington Williams. My mother. Who is now species. Was named Kerry Butler. And she worked for that they're meant family. I was born and Aiken South Carolina. On October 12 1925. My father's name was -- with -- -- About six months. That was -- -- actually. -- -- I was name took me to Pennsylvania. -- has since there Mary Washington. Came to Pennsylvania. She took me with her -- coach Al. -- -- Near Philadelphia. She. And her husband's. John Washington. Adopted me. Date what date could parent. To me and for that. Will be eternally grateful. I attended a public schools in -- Until I graduated from Scott high school. Following my graduation. From high school. I vote. At shopped around -- state college. Upon their recommendations. My father. There I majored in business education. Act in my second year in college. Met and later married to my husband junior -- He lives in his second year in the newly opened. South Carolina's state college law school. He was one of the first graduates. From the -- school. My husband and and. We're blessed. With four wonderful children. All of whom are tremendously successful. I had thirteen grandchildren. And four great grandchild. Their lives and meaningful. And important. In American -- -- There are many stories. Like -- him and and and the conflict in major. Is that not everyone. Knows about these stories. That helped to make America what it is today. When my father became a United States senator. Is that communications. And support continued to me. I've visited him many times and Washington DC. All of those -- that. Knew exactly who lives. -- financial support Wisconsin doing. Various phases of my life. I knew him beyond his public image. I am sure that the question looming here today. It is. Why have we need to comport. My -- is throughout his life and and we respected each other. I never wanted to do anything. To harm him. -- detriment to his life but -- -- lives of those around him. My father did a lot of things to help other people. Even though his public stance. Appeared opposite. Ask the honorable Matthew Peter. The young arms around me and -- -- in. Of those purchases of about the -- on them. -- sensitive about his well being. And can be here and you're standing here in South Africa Latin. It was moving at the urging my children. And senator payments passing. That I decided that my children deserve the right to know them -- Where. And what they account. And commit to it and teaching them. And helping them to learn about their past. It is their right to know. And I understand -- rich history of -- ancestry. Black and -- At this juncture. In my life. I am looking for closure. I am not -- I am not angry. And in fact is a great sense of peace that has come in the past year. Once I decided. That I would no longer harbored such a big secret. That many others -- Feel as though a treatments -- and -- that. I am. -- Mae Washington Williams and it -- You know completely pretty.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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