Julian Bond, a longtime leader of the NAACP who also fought to keep his seat in the Georgia Assembly, where he served 20 years, died Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He was 75.
A public face of activism for civil rights throughout his life, Bond led the Southern Poverty Law Center and was the first black man nominated for vice president of the United States.
Bond died after a brief illness, according to a statement released early Sunday by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Bond son’s, Michael Julian Bond, is an Atlanta city councilman.
A native of Nashville, Julian Bond was considered an icon of the civil rights movement and led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, SNCC.
As a student at Morehouse College, Bond helped found SNCC and served as its communications director.
Bond later served as board chairman of the 500,000-member NAACP for 10 years but declined to run again for another term in 2010.
“With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice,” SPLC co-founder Morris Dees said in a statement. “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.”