Obama: Civil Rights Activist Bond Was ‘Hero’ and Friend

August 16, 2015 Updated: August 16, 2015

EDGARTOWN, Mass.—President Barack Obama says the late civil rights activist Julian Bond was a hero and friend.

Obama says he and first lady Michelle Obama have benefited from Bond’s example, counsel and friendship.

Obama’s offering prayers and sympathy to Bond’s wife, Pamela, and family after Bond died Saturday night in Florida after a brief illness. He was 75.

Bond was a major figure in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. He was a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and a founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Bond also served in the Georgia Legislature and was a longtime NAACP board chairman.

Obama, vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachussetts, adds that Bond helped changed America for the better and “what better way to be remembered than that.”