03.28.2020

Joseph Lowery, civil rights leader and Martin Luther King Jr. aide, dies at 98

Joseph Lowery, civil rights leader and Martin Luther King Jr. aide, dies at 98 Photo by David Goldman, AP

The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a veteran civil rights leader who helped the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and fought against racial discrimination, died Friday, a family statement said. He was 98.

A charismatic and fiery preacher, Lowery led the SCLC for two decades – restoring the organization’s financial stability and pressuring businesses not to trade with South Africa’s apartheid-era regime – before retiring in 1997. 

Lowery, considered the dean of civil rights veterans, lived to celebrate a November 2008 milestone that few of his movement colleagues thought they would ever witness – the election of an African American president.

For the full story, visit USAToday.com/News/Nation.