According this wife, Pamela Horowitz, Mr. Bond was already suffering from a vascular disease which aggravated during their Florida vacation as he succumbed after being hospitalized. He is also survived by five children he had with his first wife, Alice Clopton.
Julian Bond was born in 1940 in Nashville, Tennessee, to a former Lincoln University president and a librarian. He lived his early life at the Fort Valley State College campus with his family, as his father served as president of the institution, and was acquainted since his youth with black personalities and scholars who would often visit his father.
Mr. Bond’s involvement with the civil rights movement started in his early 20s, as he co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. As communications director of the institutions, he travelled all around the country during the 60’s and helped stage non-violent anti-segregationist protests. He played a major part in protests against Georgia’s notoriously segregationist Jim Crow laws.
After the success of the civil rights movement of gaining a repeal of most segregationist laws, Mr. Bond went on to build a career both in politics and advocacy; he co-founded and was president of the law firm Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), of which he remained an emeritus member until his death.
As a politician, Bond was part of the first group of African Americans which were elected to the Georgia House of Representatives after legislation which prohibited the racial segregation of voting rights was accepted in 1965. However, his initial seating was marred by controversy, as a vast majority of Georgia State Representatives wanted to deny it based on the fact that he openly opposed US involvement in Vietnam.
After the case went to the US Supreme Court, Mr. Bond was seated after a unanimous vote by court justices ruled that the Georgia house denied him freedom of speech. He would go on to win four consecutive terms as a Georgia representative between 1967 and 1974, serving in the Georgia Senate afterwards until 1987.
Mr. Bond was the first African-American to be nominated as a candidate for Vice-President of the United States during the 1968 electoral campaign, but he declined the nomination as he was below the constitutional age of 35 required for the position at the time.
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