Julian Bond, who was nominated for vice president of the United States at the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where thousands of anti-Vietnam war demonstrators wearing football helmets battled police in the streets, died August 15 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He was 75.
Bond was seated in the Georgia State Legislature after a long and bitter fight that was settled by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Georgia Legislature had refused to seat him because Bond opposed the Vietnam War. The nation’s highest court ruled that he had to be seated.
He was then elected a delegate to the convention that nominated Hubert H. Humphrey for president.
Ted Warshafsky, a Wisconsin delegate, nominated Bond for vice president, saying he represented the future. Warshafsky also called Bond a ‘protest candidate.’
Another Wisconsin delegate could not second Bond’s nomination because someone shut off the microphone.
Bond had to decline the nomination anyway because he was 28 years old, seven years too young to be vice president.
He was co-founder and communication director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s. At SNCC, he became friends with John Lewis, the organization’s chairman. They traveled together throughout the South registering black voters on behalf of the Voter Education Project. Bond encouraged African Americans to run for office.
Bond and Lewis became bitter enemies in 1985 when they competed against each other to represent Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. Bond was accused of using cocaine and other drugs. Lewis won.
Bond also served as president of Southern Poverty Law Center from its founding in 1971 to 1979 along with Morris Dees. Bond later became chairman of the NAACP.
Horace Julian Bond was born January 14, 1940, in Nashville, Tennessee. His father, Horace Mann Bond, was an educator who in 1945 became the first African-American president of Lincoln University .
Julian Bonds’ mother, Julia, was a former librarian at Clark Atlanta University.
The Bonds’ house was a frequent stop for scholars and activists and celebrities passing through, including W.E.B. Dubois and Paul Robeson.
Dees said Bond’s death means, “We’ve lost a champion.”
Bond is survived by his second wife, Pamela Sue Horowitz, a former Southern Poverty Law Center staff attorney, and his five children, born to his first wife, Alice Clompton, and eight grandchildren.