Byron De La Beckwith, Jr. (November 9, 1920 – January 21, 2001) was an American white supremacist and Klansman from Greenwood, Mississippi who was convicted in the 1994 state trial of assassinating the civil rights leader Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963. Two previous trials in 1964 on this charge had resulted in hung juries.
De La Beckwith was born in Colusa, California, the son of Susan Southworth Yerger and Byron De La Beckwith, Sr., the town postmaster. His father died of pneumonia when he was five years old. One year later, De La Beckwith and his mother settled in Greenwood, Mississippi, to be near family. His mother died of lung cancer when he was 12 years old, and was raised by his uncle William Greene Yerger and his wife after that.
In January 1942, De La Beckwith enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, and served as a machine gunner in the Pacific theater of World War II. He fought at the Battle of Guadalcanal and was shot in the waist during the Battle of Tarawa. De La Beckwith was honorably discharged in August 1945. For his service, Beckwith was awarded three Bronze Star medals. His unit received two Presidential Unit Citations during the time which he served in it.