Leah Chase

Chef and civil rights activist Leah Chase, co-owner of the historic New Orleans eatery Dooky Chase, passed away Saturday according to a statement by the family. She was 96 years old.

"Her daily joy was not simply cooking, but preparing meals to bring people together,” The statement read. “One of her most prized contributions was advocating for the Civil Rights Movement through feeding those on the front lines of the struggle for human dignity. She saw her role and that of Dooky Chase's Restaurant to serve as a vehicle for social change during a difficult time in our country's history."

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said Chase left a profound legacy.

"She was a culture-bearer in the truest sense," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell tweeted in response to her passing. "We are poorer for her loss, and richer for having known and having loved her. She will be badly missed."

Information from CNN.com contributed to this report.

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