The US civil rights activist and former board chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Julian Bond has died, aged 75.
Bond died in Florida after a short illness, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said in a statement.
It described him as a “visionary and tireless champion for civil and human rights”.
Bond was also a writer, poet, politician and professor.
He co-founded the Student Nonviolent Co-ordinating Committee in the 1960s, organising anti-segregation protests and voter registration drives.
He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives when black people became eligible to vote in the 1960s and served in the Georgia legislature for two decades.
He served as the SPLC founding president in the 1970s.
As board chairman of the NAACP in the 2000s, when asked by the BBC whether black Americans had achieved equality with white people, he said that they were “far, far from it”.
“Black skin still acts as a mark of difference – for many white Americans, a negative difference,” he said.
He continued to champion the cause in newspaper columns and on TV shows – even hosting NBC’s late-night comedy show, Saturday Night Live.
“With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice,” the SPLC said in its statement.
“He advocated not just for African-Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognised the common humanity in us all.”
Mr Bond is survived by his wife, Pamela Horowitz, a former SPLC staff attorney, and five children by his previous marriage to Alice Clopton.