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Civil Rights Activist Hosea Williams Dies at Age 72Aired November 16, 2000 - 4:42 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: And we have just received word that a former aide to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has died of cancer. Civil rights activist Hosea Williams died in an Atlanta hospital at the age of 72. Mr. Williams' career began with a crusade for civil rights. It ended with a legacy that will long be remembered.
And CNN's Catherine Callaway looks back on the life of Hosea Williams.
CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hosea Williams was on the front line to the civil rights struggle for four decades. Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., Williams and John Lewis organized the march known in Selma, Alabama known as Bloody Sunday, which left more than 80 people injured.
The police violence that day led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Williams would later rewalk his steps across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
HOSEA WILLIAMS, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I was thinking how we suffered, how we bled, how we were brutalized, how Dr. King told us that the sweetest walk you're ever take is in that ballot box. And we made that walk.
CALLAWAY: Williams was also by King's side that fateful day in Memphis April 4, 1968, when King was assassinated. Williams would work the rest of his life to keep King's dream alive. He served as a national executive for the SCLC, pastor of King's People Church of Love Incorporated -- Georgia state representative, Atlanta counselman, and a county commissioner. Williams received national attention once again in 1987, while on a march by in Forsyth County, Georgia.
Williams and others marching for integration were pelted with rocks from an angry crowd. Williams, undaunted, returned for a more peaceful march. Williams' work included more than marches and public service. He also organized programs like the Feed the Hungry dinners he provided in Atlanta every holiday season. He once said that the greatest thing he ever did was to give up his career as a scientist to associate with Martin Luther King.
Williams' legacy may be in his longevity, his lifelong dedication to helping others. Catherine Callaway, CNN, reporting.
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