Andrew Young

Tuesday, April 18 at 11:00 a.m.

Ferguson Auditorium

Sam Rayburn Speaker Series

Andrew Young

Andrew Jackson Young Jr. was born in New Orleans in 1932. Young’s father practiced dentistry and his mother served as a teacher. He attended Dillard University in New Orleans and then completed his bachelor’s degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Young went on to earn a second bachelor’s degree in divinity from the Hartford Theological Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut.

In 1960, Andrew J. Young began working with voter registration and voter education projects while working for the National Council of Churches, and in 1961, he moved to Atlanta and joined Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). During his service with the SCLC, Young helped draft both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He became the executive president of the SCLC after the death of Dr. King in April 1968.

In 1972, Young was elected to represent Georgia’s 5th district, the first African-American elected from the South since Reconstruction. He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, the first African-American to do so. In that role, Young established the framework for international negotiations that led to democracy in several nations in Southern Africa.

He later served as Mayor of Atlanta, bringing jobs and $70 billion in private investment to the city during a recession. His leadership, vision and global reputation were instrumental in bringing the Centennial Olympic Games to Atlanta in 1996.

Young retired from GoodWorks International, an international business consulting firm he co-founded, following his 80th birthday.

His many awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the NAACP’s Springarn Medal, the Olympic Order and France’s Legion d’honneur, the nation’s greatest honor, as well as more than 100 honorary degrees. He serves on a number of boards including: the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change; the United Nations Foundation; Morehouse College and the Andrew Young School for Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Ambassador Young’s critical contributions to American life and history were celebrated in 2011 with a Lifetime Emmy Award and the placement of his portrait on permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Ambassador Young is married to civic leader and philanthropist Carolyn McLain Young.