By: Anne E. Bromley | UVAToday, Office of University Communications
H. Julian Bond, University of Virginia professor emeritus of history and one of America’s foremost civil rights leaders, died on Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Florida after a brief illness. He was 75.
While attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, Bond was one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the early 1960s. He participated in sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in Atlanta and also the Freedom Rides, a courageous effort to register black voters in the South.
The Library of Congress named him “A Living Legend” in 2008. He actively championed civil rights and social justice from the early days of the Civil Rights Movement and throughout all of his life.
He chaired the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People from 1998 to 2010, and co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1971. He also served for 20 years in the Georgia legislature, in both the state House of Representatives and the Senate, beginning in 1965. A charismatic speaker, Bond narrated the PBS series “The Eyes on the Prize” and hosted the television show, “America’s Black Forum.”
Bond joined U.Va.’s Corcoran Department of History in 1992 and retired from the University in 2012 after a distinguished teaching career. More than 5,000 students attended his classes, where he drew on his first-hand knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement and its participants to teach civil rights in the larger context of American history.