Atlanta civil rights activist Rev. Fred D. Taylor dies at 82

Rev. Fred D. Taylor (Credit: Atlanta City Council)

The City of Atlanta lost a legend. Civil rights activist Rev. Fred D. Taylor has died, according to the Atlanta City Council.

Rev. Taylor was born in Prattville, Alabama in 1942. He became integrated into the Civil Rights Movement under the guidance of Pastor Ralph David Abernathy, who was a close friend and mentor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1969, Taylor graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from the Interdemoninational Theological Center in Atlanta and began working for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

Over the years, he rose through the ranks and rubbed elbows with local leaders throughout the states. In 1996, he was invited to be a torch-bearer at the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta.

When remembering Taylor, the Atlanta City Council highlighted his unique approach to leading protests. They said he would sing spiritual hymns and freedom songs into a megaphone in order to keep the marches in sync.

"Rev. Taylor was a fearless crusader for justice and equality whose example is one of pure self-sacrifice for the upliftment of others," Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond said in a statement. "My personal journey with him was a blessing. From being inspired by his example, to being guided by his wisdom as a mentor, and finally, to cherishing his friendship, I am forever grateful. I had the honor of recognizing his contributions at the City Council a few years ago. I extend my deepest condolences to his family, affiliations, and the community that loves him dearly."

Councilman Michael Julian Bond and Rev. Fred D. Taylor (Credit: Atlanta City Council)

Learn more about Rev. Fred D. Taylor's life and legacy here.