Young, Andrew Jackson, Jr. (1932-...), was the first black
to serve as United States ambassador to the United Nations (UN). He held the post from
1977 to 1979. Young became known for his outspoken comments on world affairs. He strongly
supported black majority rule in Africa. Young served as mayor of Atlanta, Ga., from 1981
Young was born in New Orleans. He graduated from Howard University and from the Hartford
Theological Seminary. In 1955, Young was ordained a minister in what is now the United
Church of Christ. He served as pastor of several churches in Alabama and Georgia.
In 1960, Young joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a civil rights
organization led by Martin Luther King, Jr. Young became one of King's chief aides and
served as executive director of the SCLC from 1964 to 1970. He was jailed in Selma,
Alabama, and St. Augustine, Florida, for taking part in civil rights demonstrations.
Young, a Democrat from Georgia, won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1972.
He was the first black elected to Congress from the South since 1901. He held the seat
until President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the UN. In 1978, Young received the Spingarn
Medal for his work in domestic and international affairs. In 1990, he ran unsuccessfully
as a candidate for governor of Georgia.