This is sad news. From the SPLC in Birmingham:
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 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. 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 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 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.
From the NAACP’s press release:
“The nation and the NAACP deeply grieve Julian Bond’s death even as we are profoundly grateful for his life,” said NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks. “The arc of service of Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond’s life extends high and wide over America’s social justice landscape: as a young lieutenant of Martin Luther King Jr., gifted writer, eloquent speaker, esteemed professor, Georgia state senator, nominee for U.S. Vice President, revered civil rights leader, champion for marriage equality and well beloved NAACP Chairman Emeritus. We extend our heartfelt sympathies and soul deep prayers to his family. This is a moment of incalculable loss in a trying hour of innumerable civil right challenges. The life and legacy, indeed the eloquence of Julian Bond’s example, yet speak to the present and future of the NAACP.”
“Very few throughout human history have embodied the ideals of honor, dignity, courage and friendship like Dr. Julian Bond. Quite simply, this nation and this world are far better because of his life and commitment to equality for all people. Future generations will look back on the life and legacy of Julian Bond and see a warrior of good who helped conquer hate in the name of love. I will greatly miss my friend and my hero, Dr. Julian Bond.”
I will have a statement from the Democratic Party of Georgia when they release a press release.