Special Report

Most Important Civil Rights Leaders of the 20th Century

Source: Eduardo Montes-Bradley / Wikimedia Commons

41. Julian Bond (1940-2015)
> Occupations: Politician, teacher, writer
> Cause: American civil rights

Bond, the first African American nominated as vice presidential candidate in 1968, withdrew his nomination because he would have been too young to serve. Bond also co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Source: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

42. Dolores Huerta (1930-)
> Occupations: Labor leader, actor
> Cause: Workers’ rights

Known as vigorous organizer, Huerta was a labor and civil rights activist who also co-founded the United Farm Workers union.

Source: World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland / Wikimedia Commons

43. Desmond Tutu (1931-)
> Occupations: Priest, teacher, author, theologian
> Cause: Ending apartheid in South Africa

As a cleric, Tutu was the conscience of the anti-apartheid movement and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end the oppressive system of apartheid in South Africa.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

44. Andrew Young (1932-)
> Occupations: Politician, screenwriter, film producer
> Cause: African-American voter registration

Young’s distinguished career includes serving as U.N. ambassador, mayor of Atlanta, executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and confidant to Martin Luther King Jr.

Source: State Library and Archives of Florida / Wikimedia Commons

45. Dick Gregory (1932-2017)
> Occupations: Comedian, author, writer, entrepreneur
> Cause: Free speech

A ground-breaking comedian, Gregory addressed civil rights in his comedy act. Gregory was a free speech advocate as well as a civil rights activist.