What they're saying about Julian Bond

By now you've got the news: civil rights legend Julian Bond died Saturday night at the age of 75. The tributes are rolling in, and here are a few.

A statement from President Barack Obama:

"Julian Bond helped change this country for the better. And what better way to be remembered than that."

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, worked with Bond on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and beat him in a heated, personal race for Congress in 1986. Here's what Lewis told National Public Radio this morning:

"Julian Bond was just smart, just smart. Brilliant," Lewis told host Rachel Martin. He was "a wonderful writer, a poet. He had a great sense of humor. He could make you laugh until you wanted to cry. But he worked very hard."

Asked Bond's legacy, Lewis said: "Julian must be remembered as having inspired another generation of young people to stand up, to speak up and speak out. He traveled all over America, speaking on college campuses, but also to large groups for peace, for non-violence and for protecting the environment."

From Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed:

"Julian Bond lived a life of great impact, great courage and great distinction. He was a co-founder of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was one of eleven African-Americans elected to office in the Georgia House of Representatives following the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1965. Bond was an impassioned advocate for non-violence throughout his career, and his voice never wavered in his life-long fight for justice.

"We may take comfort in knowing his legacy lives on in his children and grandchildren, in the organizations he founded and in the barriers he broke. Julian Bond changed our state and our country, and we are forever in his debt.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the Bond family, and my friend Michael Bond, who serves on the Atlanta City Council. May God bless Julian Bond and may he rest in peace."

From Gov. Nathan Deal:

"Sandra and I are saddened at the passing of this civil rights icon. Our thoughts and prayers are with his son, Michael Julian, and the rest of his family during this difficult time."

From presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton (D):

From presidential hopeful Ben Carson (R):

From U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta:

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.:

"Julian Bond dedicated a lifetime to advancing the rights and dignity of all Americans.  He was a fearless, far-sighted leader with an unswerving, unbreakable commitment to justice.  He was a courageous and eloquent activist.  He was a determined legislator with 20 years of outspoken service for the people of Georgia.  He was a gifted educator who fired the consciences of his students.  He was also at the forefront of cultural change and regaled audiences with his well-known lecture, 'Crossing the Color Line; From Rhythm 'n Blues to Rock 'n Roll.'  He himself said: 'The rock 'n roll speech is beyond awesome - strong men weep, women swoon.'

"Julian Bond had no patience for discrimination, and he was a towering champion for the full equality of LGBT Americans.  His impassioned advocacy for amending the Civil Rights Act to include protections for LGBT Americans set a clear path forward for Congress and our country.  In this, as in so many ways, Julian Bond has left us a living legacy of leadership.  Bond's memory challenges us to rededicate ourselves to the unfinished business of civil rights, with determination, compassion and courage.  My husband Paul and I send our sympathies to his cherished wife Pamela and their family.  May it be a comfort to Julian's family and loved ones that so many share in their sorrow and remembrance at this difficult time." 

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.:

"From his time at the NAACP and Southern Poverty Law Center, to his work in the Georgia Legislature, Julian Bond spent his life taking a brave stand against racism and intolerance. He inspired a generation of leaders, and our country is a better place because of him.

"I offer my condolences to the Bond family and join the rest of the country in mourning his passing."