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Posted 04/28/05 • Contact Roland Adams (603) 646-3661
Born in New Orleans, Young was raised in a middle-class black family, attended segregated southern schools, and later entered Howard University as a pre-med student. He subsequently turned to the ministry and graduated in 1955 from the Hartford Theological Seminary with a divinity degree.
While working as a pastor at several black churches in the South, Young became active in the civil-rights movement, especially in voter registration drives. His work brought him in contact with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Young joined with King in leading the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Following King's assassination in 1968, Young worked with Ralph Abernathy until resigning from the SCLC in 1970 to run for a seat in Congress.
Defeated in his first bid for Congress, Young ran again in 1972 and won. He was reelected in 1974 and 1976. In the House he opposed cuts in funds for social programs while trying to block additional funding for the war in Vietnam.
Young was an early supporter of Jimmy Carter, and after Carter's victory in the 1976 presidential election, Young was appointed the U.S. Ambassdor to the United Nations. He served in that capacity until 1979.
In 1982 Young was elected mayor of Atlanta, and was reelected to that position in 1985, serving through 1989. He helped foster great prosperity and growth for the city, and played an instrumental role in bringing the 1996 Summer Olympic Games to Atlanta.
In 1994 President Bill Clinton appointed Young to chair the $100-million Southern Africa Development Fund. In 1996 Young became one of the three founders of GoodWorks International, LLC, which provides expert advisory services that help governments and businesses in African and the Caribbean convert theoretical business possibilities into actual commercial ventures. As chairman of the organization, Young travels extensively to meet with officials and other individuals interested in improving the economic situation in Africa and the Caribbean. He has headed numerous missions to the continent of Africa and continues to use his extensive network to facilitate new business developments. His interest in international affairs is not limited to Africa and the Caribbean. He speaks at and attends conferences focusing on global affairs.
Young also remains active in community matters, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors of numerous businesses and organizations, including Atlanta Market Center, Atlanta Falcons, Cox Communications, Diversapack, the Council on Foreign Relations, Barrick Gold, The Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and The United Nations Foundation. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Delta Airlines.
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