After His Death At 75, Julian Bond Remembered For Civil Rights Work

Through the tough struggles of the civil rights movement, Julian Bond always kept his sense of humor, his wife recalls.

Pamela Horowitz told The Associated Press on Sunday that her husband “never took his eyes off the prize,” which was always racial equality.

Bond died Saturday in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He was 75. Bond had five children from a previous marriage. His son Michael Julian Bond currently serves on the Atlanta City Council.

Horowitz did not yet know the exact cause of death, but she said her husband had circulatory problems.

Horowitz said her husband‘s demeanor helped him persist for so many years in his work to improve the lives of black Americans.

Born on Jan. 14, 1940, Bond’s life traced the arc of the civil rights movement, from his efforts as a militant young man to start a student protest group, through a long career in politics and his leadership of the NAACP almost four decades later.

As a Morehouse College student, Bond helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and as its communications director, he was on the front lines of protests that led to the nation’s landmark civil rights laws.

He later served as board chairman of the 500,000-member NAACP for 10 years but declined to run again for another one-year term in 2010.

Bond also served in the Georgia Legislature.

President Barack Obama says the late civil rights activist was a hero and friend.

Obama says he and first lady Michelle Obama have benefited from Bond’s example, counsel and friendship.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he’s “saddened and broken hearted” by the death of the civil rights figure.

Jackson said in a statement Monday morning that Bond ”set the moral and academic tone of our generation of student activists.” 

Jackson called Bond ”a scholar, activist and global peace leader” who was an “educator, a fighter for political rights and domestic justice.”