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Andrew Jackson Young Jr. (born March 12, 1932) is an American politician, diplomat, and activist. Beginning his career as a pastor, Young was an early leader in the civil rights movement, serving as executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and a close confidant to Martin Luther King Jr. Young later became active in politics, serving as a U.S. Congressman from Georgia, United States Ambassador to the United Nations in the Carter Administration, and 55th Mayor of Atlanta. Since leaving office, Young has founded or served in many organizations working on issues of public policy and political lobbying.
Young has four children with his first wife, Jean Childs Young, who died of liver cancer in 1994. His mother-in-law was Idella Jones Childs. He married Carolyn McClain in 1996.In September 1999, Young was diagnosed with prostate cancer which was successfully removed with surgery in January 2000.
Andrew Young was born on March 12, 1932, in New Orleans, to Daisy Young, a schoolteacher, and Andrew Jackson Young Sr., a dentist. Young's father hired a professional boxer to teach Andrew and his brother to defend themselves. In a 1964 interview with author Robert Penn Warren for his book, Who Speaks for the Negro?, Young recalls the tensions of segregation in New Orleans, especially growing up in a fairly well-to-do household. He recalls his parents trying to "compensate for segregation" by providing for their children but were reluctant to help less wealthy black communities in the area.Young attended Dillard University for one year before graduating from Howard University. He then earned a divinity degree from Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1955. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
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