SCLC Co-Founder Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth Dies

The civil rights leader braved bombings and death threats to carry the movement forward.

Posted: 10/05/2011 12:52 PM EDT
Filed Under Civil Rights

(Photo: REUTERS/Tami Chappell)

Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, civil rights icon and co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, died Wednesday. He was 82.


Shuttlesworth devoted his life to championing civil rights nationwide and joined Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders to establish the SCLC despite facing bombings, beatings and death threats in Birmingham, AL., where he served as pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in the 1950s and ‘60s.


In his 1963 book, Why We Can't Wait, King referred to Shuttlesworth as “one of the nation's most courageous freedom fighters.”


In 1966, Shuttlesworth became the pastor of the Greater New Light Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and served as founding director of the Shuttlesworth Housing Foundation until he retired in 2008.