If there was a Mt. Rushmore for civil rights icons, Andrew Young would be on it. But his achievements go well beyond civil rights: Young has served as congressman, United Nations ambassador and mayor of Atlanta.
Andrew Jackson Young Jr. was born in New Orleans in 1932. He became involved in the civil rights movement while pastoring a church in Thomasville, Georgia and joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1961. As one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most trusted aides, Young organized voter registration drives and desegregation campaigns throughout the South. Young was with Dr. King when he was assassinated in 1968.
In 1972, Young became the first African-American since Reconstruction to be elected to Congress from Georgia. He was re-elected twice before Jimmy Carter appointed him ambassador to the United Nations in 1977.
In the 1980s, he served two terms as mayor of Atlanta, playing a pivotal role in Atlanta’s rise as an international city and was instrumental in bringing the 1996 Olympic Games to Atlanta.
Georgia’s first black congressman in the 20th century was first elected on November 7, 1972, Today in Georgia History.