By Carmen Glover
Civil rights icon Julian Bond, an-11-year-chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), who tirelessly advocated for civil and equal rights throughout his life, died in Florida, at age 75, after a brief illness, according to a statement released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, (SPLC). In the statement, Morris Dees, who co-founded the SPLC with Bond, said:
“We’ve lost a champion. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary civil rights activist Julian Bond, SPLC’s first president. He was 75 years old and died last evening, August 15, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
“From his days as the co-founder and communication director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s, to his chairmanship of the NAACP in the 21st century, Julian was a visionary and tireless champion for civil and human rights. He served as the SPLC’s president from our founding in 1971 to 1979, and later as a member of its board of directors.
“With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for cause of justice. He advocated not just for African-Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all.
“Julian is survived by his wife, Pamela Horowitz, a former SPLC staff attorney, and his five children. Not only has the country lost a hero today, we’ve lost a great friend.”
In a statement via Twitter, the NAACP said: “The NAACP mourns the passing of Chairman Julian Bond, civil rights titan and our brother. May he rest in eternal peace.’
In a statement President Barack Obama said: “Julian Bond was a hero and, I’m privileged to say, a friend; Justice and equality was the mission that spanned his life–from his leadership at the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to his founding role with the Southern Poverty Law Center, to his pioneering service in the Georgia legislature and his steady hand at the helm of the NAACP. Michelle and I have benefited from his example, his counsel, and his friendship–and we offer our prayers and sympathies to his wife, Pamela, and his children.”
Bond , who was born Horace Julian Bond on January 4, 1940, attended Morehouse College and served in the two houses of Georgia’s Legislature for 20 years. During that time, Bond sponsored bills to ensure low-income housing and establish a majority African-American congressional district in Atlanta. Bond taught at Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel College and served as a prominent commentator and writer.–OnPointPress.net.