Deaths of Note

Published on August 19th, 2015 |


Ashes of iconic civil rights leader Julian Bond to be scattered in Gulf

The cremated ashes of legendary civil rights activist Julian Bond, who died Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, will be scattered in the Gulf of Mexico in a private ceremony on Saturday, according to his brother, James Bond.

Civil rights leader Julian Bond died Saturday at age 75.

Civil rights leader Julian Bond died Saturday at age 75.

Bond died Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach following a short illness. Bond’s wife, Pamela Sue Horowitz, told The New York Times that the cause was complications of vascular disease. He was 75 years old.

Michael Julian Bond

Michael Julian Bond

His brother said the family has received a tremendous outpouring of support from across the world following his death. Julian Bond’s son, Michael Julian Bond, is an at-large Atlanta city councilman.

“I’m very sad and it’s overwhelming. And it was so sudden,” Bond said. He did not want an elaborate burial, Bond added.

Julian Bond, a Morehouse College student in Atlanta, rose to civil rights fame with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s. The iconic civil rights leader and former chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People led demonstrations as a student at Morehouse College.

He served in the Georgia General Assembly for 20 years and also served as the founding president of Montgomery, Alabama-based SPLC from 1971 to 1979.

Julian Bond during a speech latger in life.

Julian Bond during a speech latger in life.

“With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice,” Morris Dees, co-founder of the SPLC, said in a statement. “He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all.”

“His wishes were to have his ashes thrown in the Gulf of Mexico,” Bond said. “We’re abiding by his wishes and we hope other people will understand

A young Julian Bond participating in a civil rights demonstration.

A young Julian Bond participating in a civil rights demonstration.

that we are doing what he wanted us to do.”

Because the service will be closed to the public, the family is asking for others to honor Bond by gathering at a body of water to scatter flower petals at the same time of the ceremony on Saturday. Bond’s service will take place at 2 p.m. Central Standard Time.

“This gesture will mean a great deal to us as a family and also provide some comfort in knowing that you share our loss,” the family wrote in a collective email to supporters shared with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.

James Bond said the family is in discussion over holding a memorial celebration for Julian Bond in Washington in September, but no details have been confirmed. An Atlanta service could follow.

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