Vernon Baker, who was the only living black veteran awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in World War II, died last week at age 90.

Baker was one of seven black soldiers honored with the Medal of Honor in 1997 for actions in World War II.

The long-overdue recognition came after a 1993 study commissioned by the US Army described systematic racial discrimination in the criteria for awarding medals during World War II.

At the time, no Medals of Honor had been awarded to black soldiers who served in World War II. After an exhaustive review of files, the study recommended that several black Distinguished Service Cross recipients have their awards upgraded to the Medal of Honor.

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