Civil rights leader, former politician and educator and Julian Bond passed this weekend at the age of 75. Bond became known as a champion of justice not only for African-Americans, but for all of humanity.
Horace Julian Bond was born January 14, 1940 in Nashville, Tenn. His father, Horace Mann Bond, was the first African-American president of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, and was the former president of Fort Valley State College in Georgia. As a boy, Bond lived in a house on Fort Valley’s campus that was frequently visited by W.E.B. Du Bois and other historic figures according to some accounts.
Bond entered Morehouse College and became a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee. It was around this period Bond became active in the Civil Rights Movement and left school to focus his attention there. He became SNCC’s Communications Director and was a prominent voice for the Movement.
In 1965, Bond was one of 11 African-Americans elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. Because of Bond’s opposition to the Vietnam War, he wasn’t allowed to take his seat until the Supreme Court intervened on his behalf in 1966 and defended his rights to free speech. In 1967, he took his seat and served until 1974.
In that time, Bond was the first African-American to be nominated as Vice President in 1968 at that year’s Democratic National Convention. At just 28, Bond declined the nomination as he was too young at age 28 to accept the nod. The constitutional age requirement for the post is to be at least 35 years of age.
Bond returned to Morehouse in 1971 to complete his studies and earn his bachelor’s degree in English. That same year, Bond helped to co-found the Southern Poverty Law Center with Morris Dees and served as founding president until 1979. From 1975 to 1986, Bond was a Georgia state senator, completing his turn in serving in both of the state’s legislature houses. Bond was also the NAACP Atlanta chapter president from 1974 to 1989.
From 1992 to 2012, Bond was a civil rights professor at the University of Virginia. He also served as the chairman of the NAACP from 1998 to 2012. The 2002 National Freedom Award winner remained a fixture in civil rights activism and politics, and was still traveling about the country in that capacity just weeks before his passing.
Bond is survived by his wife, Pamela Horowitz. Bond is also survived five children from previous relationships.