American civil rights activist who led the Freedom Riders. He also helped establish the Congress of Racial Equality.
A child prodigy, he began attending Wiley College at the age of fourteen. He went on to earn an additional degree from the Howard University Divinity School.
In the mid-1980s, he published a memoir entitled Lay Bare the Heart: An Autobiography of the Civil Rights Movement.
He was briefly married to Winnie Christie. With his second wife, Lula Peterson, he had two daughters.
He and Diane Judith Nash , fellow leaders in the Civil Rights Movement, were both Freedom Riders (African-American activists who took seats on buses headed to the segregated Southern states).