Rev. Joseph E. Lowery fought to end segregation, lived to see the election of the country’s first black president. Lowery, 98, died Friday at home in Atlanta, surrounded by family members, they said in a statement.
He died from natural causes unrelated to the coronavirus outbreak, the statement said.
“Tonight, the great Reverend Joseph E. Lowery transitioned from earth to eternity,” The King Center in Atlanta remembered Lowery in a Friday night tweet. “He was a champion for civil rights, a challenger of injustice, a dear friend to the King family.”
Lowery led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for two decades — restoring the organization’s financial stability and pressuring businesses not to trade with South Africa’s apartheid-era regime — before retiring in 1997.
Considered the dean of civil rights veterans, he lived to celebrate a November 2008 milestone that few of his movement colleagues thought they would ever witness — the election of an African-American president.
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