Andy Young’s remarkable life, a timeline

Andrew Young in !965 in Selma, Ala. (left); and in 2018 at the Atlanta History Center. (Library of Congress; Alyssa Pointer/AJC)

Credit: File

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Andrew Young in !965 in Selma, Ala. (left); and in 2018 at the Atlanta History Center. (Library of Congress; Alyssa Pointer/AJC)

Credit: File

March 12,1932: Born in New Orleans, the son of a dentist and school teacher.

1951: Graduates from Howard University with Bachelor of Science degree.

1952: Attends Hartford Theological Seminary in Connecticut.

1952: Meets Jean Childs while in Marion, Alabama, where he was assigned to establish a summer Bible school.

1954: Marries Jean Childs, now a teacher. Eventually, they have four children — Andrea, Lisa, Paula and Andrew III.

1955: Graduates from Hartford Theological Seminary with a Bachelor of Divinity degree. Becomes a United Church of Christ minister.

1956: Pastors United Church of Christ in Thomasville, Georgia, and becomes a social and political activist.

1957: Meets the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. when the two shared the podium at the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity’s annual program at Talladega College in Alabama.

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Young also served SCLC as a key strategist and negotiator during the group's campaigns in Birmingham (1963), St. Augustine, Fla. (1963-4) and Selma, Ala. Here, Young (front) is seen with King and other SCLC aides, including Ralph David Abernathy, James Farmer and James Forman, during a protest march in Selma in 1965. (Library of Congress)

Credit: File

Young also served SCLC as a key strategist and negotiator during the group's campaigns in Birmingham (1963), St. Augustine, Fla. (1963-4) and Selma, Ala. Here, Young (front) is seen with King and other SCLC aides, including Ralph David Abernathy, James Farmer and James Forman, during a protest march in Selma in 1965. (Library of Congress)

Credit: File

caption arrowCaption
Young also served SCLC as a key strategist and negotiator during the group's campaigns in Birmingham (1963), St. Augustine, Fla. (1963-4) and Selma, Ala. Here, Young (front) is seen with King and other SCLC aides, including Ralph David Abernathy, James Farmer and James Forman, during a protest march in Selma in 1965. (Library of Congress)

Credit: File

Credit: File

1957: Goes to work for the National Council of Churches in New York City. Active in Europe, helping refugees.

1961: Leaves NCC and goes to work for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta as director of its citizenship schools, which taught adults to read so they could pass voter registration literacy tests, as well as community leadership and organizing skills. He also gets involved in strategizing for the SCLC, helping to plan protests against segregation and racist policies.

1963: Helps King and other leaders negotiate a successful end of the Birmingham Campaign — a series of sit-ins, marches and protests aimed at highlighting the city’s segregation system. The city agrees to remove “Whites Only” and “Blacks Only” signs in restrooms and on drinking fountains, come up with a plan to desegregate lunch counters and to form a biracial committee to monitor the progress of the agreement.

1963: Helps organize the March on Washington.

1964-1968: Serves as executive director of the SCLC.

1964: Acts as the negotiator for the SCLC with police in Albany, Georgia, where King and the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy and others were arrested for participating in protests.

1964: Helps plan protests in St. Augustine, Florida, where he is arrested.

1964-1965: Plays a role in shaping the federal Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act.

1965: Helps plan the Selma march.

1968: Goes to Memphis with King for a march on behalf of striking sanitation workers. King is assassinated.

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Caption: In a 1968 photo that was seen around the world, Young, center in the dark suit standing over the body of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., points with others in the direction from which the shot came that killed the civil rights leader at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis in 1968. (Joseph Louw / AP file)

Credit: AP

Caption: In a 1968 photo that was seen around the world, Young, center in the dark suit standing over the body of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., points with others in the direction from which the shot came that killed the civil rights leader at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis in 1968. (Joseph Louw / AP file)

Credit: AP

caption arrowCaption
Caption: In a 1968 photo that was seen around the world, Young, center in the dark suit standing over the body of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., points with others in the direction from which the shot came that killed the civil rights leader at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis in 1968. (Joseph Louw / AP file)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

1968-1970: Serves as executive vice president of the SCLC.

1970: Resigns from the SCLC to run for Congress, wins the Democratic primary but loses to the Republican candidate. While campaigning, he meets Gov. Jimmy Carter. He is appointed to the Atlanta Community Relations Commission.

1972: Mounts a second campaign for Congress and wins, becoming the first Black Georgia congressman since Reconstruction. During his tenure, he helps get local federal dollars for establishing MARTA and the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, and for improvements to Atlanta’s airport. He becomes knowledgeable and active in foreign policy. He’s known for shrewd pragmatism and negotiating skills developed with the SCLC.

1974: Wins a second term in Congress.

1976: Wins another term in Congress with 80% of the vote.

1977: Resigns his congressional seat when President Jimmy Carter appoints him as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Young helps Carter push human rights as a worldwide issue.

1979: Resigns ambassadorship after it’s discovered he had an unauthorized meeting with the U.N. observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization.

1981: Accepts the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Carter.

1981: Runs as mayor of Atlanta and wins, serving from 1982 until 1990. Late in his administration, he first hears of a group of business leaders attempting to lure the Olympic Games to Atlanta.

1990: Launches a gubernatorial campaign but eventually loses to fellow Democrat Zell Miller.

1994: Becomes a widower when wife Jean dies of cancer.

1994: Publishes “A Way Out of No Way.”

1995: Becomes chairman of Southern African Enterprise Development fund, appointed by President Bill Clinton. He begins getting more involved in the effort to bring the Olympic Games to Atlanta.

1996: Becomes co-chair of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games and also chair of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

1996: Marries Carolyn McClain.

1996: Publishes “An Easy Burden: The Civil Rights Movement and the Transformation of America.”

1996: Co-founds GoodWorks International, a business development advisory firm.

2000: Begins a two-year term as president of the National Council of Churches.

2001: Works with the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, a Washington, D.C., organization that promotes human rights around the world.

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Ambassador Andrew Young in his home. He is a former mayor of Atlanta, civil rights icon and U.N. Ambassador. He turns 90 March 12."(Tyson A. Horne / tyson.horne@ajc.com)

Credit: Tyson Horne

Ambassador Andrew Young in his home. He is a former mayor of Atlanta, civil rights icon and U.N. Ambassador. He turns 90 March 12."(Tyson A. Horne / tyson.horne@ajc.com)

Credit: Tyson Horne

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Ambassador Andrew Young in his home. He is a former mayor of Atlanta, civil rights icon and U.N. Ambassador. He turns 90 March 12."(Tyson A. Horne / tyson.horne@ajc.com)

Credit: Tyson Horne

Credit: Tyson Horne

2003: Starts the Andrew Young Foundation, which focuses on health and well-being.

2007: Writes and produces the documentary “Rwanda Rising.”

2008: Writes and produces documentary series “Andrew Young Presents.”

2015: Survives a cement truck overturning on his car. Young walks away.

2020: Co-founds and helps raise $3 million in seed money for Greenwood, a banking and financial services firm.

2022: Publishes “The Many Lives of Andrew Young,” with Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Ernie Suggs.

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