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Andrew Young Fast Facts


Here is a look at the life of civil rights activist and former ambassador Andrew Young.


Birth date: March 12, 1932

Birth place: New Orleans, Louisiana

Birth name: Andrew Jackson Young Jr.

Father: Andrew Jackson Young, a dentist

Mother: Daisy (Fuller) Young, a teacher

Marriages: Carolyn (McClain) Young (April 15, 1996-present); Jean (Childs) Young (June 7, 1954-September 16, 1994, her death)

Children: with Jean (Childs) Young: Andrea, Lisa, Paula, Andrew III

Education: Attended Dillard University, 1947-1948; Howard University, B.S., Biology, 1951; Hartford Theological Seminary, B.D., 1955

Other Facts

Began working with the National Council of Churches on voter registration and voter education projects. Young also started working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at this time.

Helped draft both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Made a speech in the House of Representatives supporting President Richard Nixon’s choice of Gerald Ford as vice president. Is the only African-American who voted for Ford’s confirmation.

Quote regarding role as UN ambassador, “There is a sense in which the United States Ambassador speaks to the United States, as well as for the United States. I have always seen my role as a thermostat, rather than a thermometer. So I’m going to be actively working…for my own concerns. I have always had people advise me on what to say, but never on what not to say.”


1955 – Is ordained a minister in the United Church of Christ.

mid-1950s – Pastor to several churches in Alabama and Georgia.

1960 – Wins the Peabody Broadcasting and Film Commission Institutional Award for Radio -Television Education given to the National Council of Churches of Christ for the programs “Look Up and Live,” “Frontiers of Faith,” “Pilgrimage” and “Talk-back.”

1961 – Moves to Atlanta and joins the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

May 3, 1963 – Organizes the anti-segregation march in Birmingham, Alabama, where demonstrators are hosed and set upon by dogs by order of Police Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor.

1964 – Becomes the executive director of SCLC.

July-August 1966 – Race riots in predominantly white neighborhoods on Chicago’s Southwest Side have Dr. King, Young, SCLC and the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations (CCCO) demonstrating to end housing discrimination.

April 1968 – Becomes the executive vice president of SCLC after the death of Dr. King.

August 1969 – Changes SCLC’s focus from integration and anti-segregation activities to voter registration and political activities.

1970 – Resigns from the SCLC to run for a seat in the US House of Representatives from Georgia’s 5th congressional district. He loses by more than 20,000 votes.

1972 – Second run for Georgia’s 5th congressional district seat. Redistricting changes the population distribution somewhat and Young wins by 7,694 votes.

1974 – Wins reelection by 72% of the vote.

1976 – Wins reelection by 80% of the vote.

December 16, 1976 – President-elect Jimmy Carter nominates Young as ambassador to the United Nations.

January 30, 1977 – Is sworn-in as the first African-American and 14th US ambassador to the United Nations by Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

August 15, 1979 – Resigns his UN ambassadorship over controversy stemming from an unauthorized July meeting with PLO representatives.

1979 – Establishes the consulting firm Young Ideas.

October 27, 1981 – Wins Atlanta mayoral race with 65,798 votes (55.1%) beating Georgia Congressman Sidney Marcus with 53,549 votes (44.8%).

January 5, 1982-January 2, 1990 – Mayor of Atlanta.

October 8, 1985 – Wins reelection with 81% of the vote. In contrast to the 1981 election where 61% of the registered voters turned out, only 32% turn out for this election.

1990 – Becomes chairman of the Atlanta Organizing Committee to bring the 1996 Summer Olympics to Atlanta.

February 5, 1990 – Announces plans to run for Georgia governor.

August 7, 1990 – Loses the runoff for Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nomination to Lt. Governor Zell Miller.

September 18, 1990 – The IOC announces Atlanta as host of the 1996 Summer Olympics.

1996 – Co-founds GoodWorks International, a consulting firm advising on responsible business development in Africa and the Caribbean.

1998 – Serves on the US Commission on National Security in the 21st Century established by President Bill Clinton.

2000-2001 – President of the National Council of Churches.

2007 – Writes and produces documentary “Rwanda Rising.”

2008-present – Writes and produces documentary series “Andrew Young Presents.”

February 25, 2011 – Receives a special lifetime achievement Emmy Award, the Trustee Award.

March 9, 2013 – The Democratic Party of Georgia presents Andrew Young with the John Lewis Lifetime Achievement Award.

August 28, 2013 – The sons of Martin Luther King Jr., Dexter King and Martin Luther King III, sue to remove Young from the board of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. At issue is Young’s use of images of their father in a documentary produced by Young.

May 11, 2015 – Young is taken to the hospital in Atlanta as a precaution after a cement truck overturns on his car. He is released the same day.

May 6, 2018 – Young is taken to the hospital after becoming ill in Nashville, with what he later says was a staph infection. After a few days, he is transferred to Atlanta where he spends several days at Emory University Hospital before being released.

October 8, 2020 Greenwood Bank announces it has raised more than $3 million in seed funding. Young cofounded the bank with Michael “Killer Mike” Render, rapper and activist, and Ryan Glover, founder of Bounce TV network. It is inspired by the former Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a Black business community destroyed during the 1921 Tulsa race massacre. The business, which is owned, managed and operated by Black and Latino people, is expected to launch mid-2021.

Article Topic Follows: National & World

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