Minister in the United Methodist Church and leader in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's who was the third president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
He was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and he attended the Knoxville College and Alabama A&M College, before finishing his bachelor of arts degree at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia.
He led the Selma to Montgomery march of 1965 and he co-founded the Black Leadership Forum, a consortium of Black advocacy groups.
He was married to Evelyn G. Lowery, with whom he had three daughters. Their names were Yvonne, Karen, and Cheryl.
He succeeded Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.