Julian Bond wife, Pamela Horowitz said Bond suffered from vascular disease, he died at the age of 75, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, after a brief illness.
Julian 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.
Former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young said Bond’s legacy would be as a lifetime struggler. “He started when he was about 17, and he went to 75,” Young said. “And I don’t know a single time when he was not involved in some phase of the civil-rights movement.”
Pamela Horowitz said, “he never took his eyes off the prize and that was always racial equality.”
According to Eleanor Holmes Norton, who was Bond’s colleague on the student committee and later wrote a friend-of-the-court brief for the American Civil Liberties Union when Bond’s case was before the high court, “If this was another movement, they would call him the PR man, because he was the one who wrote the best, who framed the issues the best. He was called upon time and again to write it, to express it.”
President Barack Obama called Bond a hero.”Justice and equality was the mission that spanned his life,” Obama said, “Julian Bond helped change this country for the better.”
Horace Julian Bond (January 14, 1940 – August 15, 2015), known as Julian Bond, was an American social activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement, politician, professor, and writer. While a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, during the early 1960s, he helped to establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Bond was elected to four terms in the Georgia House of Representatives and later to six terms in the Georgia Senate, having served a combined twenty years in both legislative chambers. From 1998 to 2010, he was chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In 1965, Bond was one of eleven African-Americans elected to the Georgia House of Representatives after passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act of 1965 had opened voter registration to blacks. By ending the disfranchisement of blacks through discriminatory voter registration, African-Americans regained the ability to vote and entered the political process. Although he was initially undecided about his party affiliation, Bond ultimately ran and was elected as a Democrat, the party of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who had signed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act into law.
On January 10, 1966, Georgia state representatives voted 184–12 not to seat him because he had publicly endorsed SNCC’s policy regarding opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. They disliked Bond’s stated sympathy for persons who were “unwilling to respond to a military draft”. A three-judge panel on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ruled in a 2–1 decision that the Georgia House had not violated any of Bond’s constitutional rights. In 1966, the United States Supreme Court ruled 9–0 in the case of Bond v. Floyd (385 U.S. 116) that the Georgia House of Representatives had denied Bond his freedom of speech and was required to seat him. From 1967 to 1975, Bond was elected to four terms in the Georgia House, where he organized the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus.IMAGE/Charley Gallay/Getty Images