Four days of celebrations coming for Andrew Young’s 90th birthday

07-27-2021 Atlanta, Ga Ambassador Andrew Young poses for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Tyson Horne / tyson.horne@ajc.com)

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07-27-2021 Atlanta, Ga Ambassador Andrew Young poses for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. (Tyson Horne / tyson.horne@ajc.com)

The Andrew J. Young Foundation will host a series of public events starting Wednesday to celebrate the 90th birthday of its founder, who has had an outsized impact on Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the world.

His unique resumé has seen him serve as a preacher, a civil rights activist, a United States congressman, a United Nations ambassador, the mayor of Atlanta and co-chair of the 1996 Olympics, which he helped bring to the city.

His birthday is Saturday, March 12.

“I told them, however you want to celebrate, it is your business. My job is just to get to 90,” Young said. “I don’t know how to celebrate a birthday. So, we are basically celebrating to help carry on the work of the foundation.”

It focuses on human and community health and development around the world.

“I thought when I left, the foundation would die. But we have so many good projects in process, so we can’t let it die,” Young said. “That is the kind of foundation that I wanted in these 90 years. One that will shape the future.”

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will feature exclusive stories, videos and photos Saturday and Sunday outlining Young’s life and his thoughts at 90.

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Ambassador Andrew Young in his home. Andrew Young, the former Mayor of Atlanta, civil rights icon and U.N. ambassador, turns 90 this week. Young will celebrate his birthday with a host of events around the city, and the release of a new book, "The Many Lives of Andrew Young."(Tyson A. Horne / tyson.horne@ajc.com)

Credit: Tyson Horne

Ambassador Andrew Young in his home. Andrew Young, the former Mayor of Atlanta, civil rights icon and U.N. ambassador, turns 90 this week. Young will celebrate his birthday with a host of events around the city, and the release of a new book, "The Many Lives of Andrew Young."(Tyson A. Horne / tyson.horne@ajc.com)

Credit: Tyson Horne

Combined ShapeCaption
Ambassador Andrew Young in his home. Andrew Young, the former Mayor of Atlanta, civil rights icon and U.N. ambassador, turns 90 this week. Young will celebrate his birthday with a host of events around the city, and the release of a new book, "The Many Lives of Andrew Young."(Tyson A. Horne / tyson.horne@ajc.com)

Credit: Tyson Horne

Credit: Tyson Horne

Here are the highlights of the four public events.

Wednesday: At noon, Young, who pastored a church in Thomasville, Georgia, before joining the civil rights movement, will deliver the keynote interdenominational sermon at First Congregational Church in Atlanta. The “90 Minutes of Global Prayer for World Peace,” will be streamed to hundreds of churches around the world. Viewers can tune in to a live stream to watch the service.

Thursday: At 10 a.m. Young will lead a “90-minute Walk for Peace and Reconciliation,” from Centennial Olympic Park to the Rodney Cook Sr. Peace Park in Vine City, where a statue of Young will be unveiled.

Friday: The Millennium Gate Museum will have a private unveiling of the exhibit, “The Many Lives of Andrew Young.” It is based on the coffee-table book by the same name, which will be unveiled during the reception. The book has a foreword by President Jimmy Carter, and it highlights Young’s life through his own words and recently discovered archival photographs. AJC staff writer Ernie Suggs is the author. The newspaper is not connected to its publication.

The exhibit will open to the public on March 12.

Saturday: The Georgia World Congress Center will host Young’s 90th birthday gala at 6 p.m. to raise money to further the work of the Young Foundation. Tickets are sold out.