Julian Bond dead: Civil rights activist dies after brief illness aged 75

Bond was a 'tireless' champion for civil and human rights

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Julian Bond, a civil rights activist and former NAACP chairman, has died after a brief illness aged 75.

The son of a former president of Lincoln University and a librarian, Bond co-founded the Student Nonviolent Corodinating Committee while at university in Georgia and organised civil rights rallies and protests against segregation at public institutions.

He helped found the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Alabama and was one of eight African Americans to be elected to the Georgia House of Representatives after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act in 1965. He later served six terms in the Georgia Senate.

Bond was chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People between 1998 and 2010.

He was also a vocal supporter of LGBT rights and publicly stated his support for legalising same-sex marriage, famously telling an audience at the Martin Luther King Day Celebration in 2007: “If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married.”

The SPLC, where Bond served as its president from 1971 to 1979, said it had lost a “champion” in an emotional tribute on their Facebook page.

“From his days as the co-founder and communications director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee 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," SPLC co-founder Morris Dees said in a statement.

"With Julian's passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice. He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognised the common humanity in us all.

Bond is survived by his wife Pamela Horowitz, a lawyer, and his five children.