Andrew Young

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Andrew Young
14th United States Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
1977–1979
PresidentJimmy Carter
Preceded byWilliam Scranton
Succeeded byDonald McHenry
55th Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
In office
1982–1990
Preceded byMaynard Jackson
Succeeded byMaynard Jackson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 29, 1977
Preceded byFletcher Thompson
Succeeded byWyche Fowler
Personal details
Born(1932-03-12) March 12, 1932 (age 80)
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jean Young (deceased), Carolyn M. Young
Alma materDillard University
Howard University
Hartford Seminary
ProfessionPastor and Politician
ReligionUnited Church of Christ
 
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Andrew Young
14th United States Ambassador to the United Nations
In office
1977–1979
PresidentJimmy Carter
Preceded byWilliam Scranton
Succeeded byDonald McHenry
55th Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
In office
1982–1990
Preceded byMaynard Jackson
Succeeded byMaynard Jackson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 29, 1977
Preceded byFletcher Thompson
Succeeded byWyche Fowler
Personal details
Born(1932-03-12) March 12, 1932 (age 80)
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jean Young (deceased), Carolyn M. Young
Alma materDillard University
Howard University
Hartford Seminary
ProfessionPastor and Politician
ReligionUnited Church of Christ

Andrew Jackson Young (born March 12, 1932) is an American politician, diplomat, activist and pastor from Georgia. He has served as Mayor of Atlanta, a Congressman from the 5th district, and United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He served as President of the National Council of Churches USA, was a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) during the 1960s Civil Rights Movement, and was a supporter and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Since leaving political office in 1989, Young has founded or served in a large number of organizations founded on public policy, political lobbying and international relations, with a special focus on Africa.

Contents

Early life

Andrew Young was born March 12, 1932 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Daisy Fuller Young, a school teacher, and Andrew Jackson Young, Sr., a dentist. Young's father hired a professional boxer to teach Andrew and his brother how to fight, so they could defend themselves. From that, Young decided that violence was not the path he would choose to follow.[citation needed]

Education

After beginning his higher education, but then felt a religious calling. He entered the Turner-Boatright Christian ministry school and earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1955.

Young is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Young was appointed to serve as pastor of a church in Marion, Alabama. It was there in Marion that he met Jean Childs, who later became his wife. Young became interested in Gandhi's concept of non-violent resistance as a tactic for social change. He encouraged African-Americans to register to vote in Alabama, and sometimes faced death threats while doing so. He became a friend and ally of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at this time.

In 1957, Young and Jean moved to New York City to accept a job with the Youth Division of the National Council of Churches. While in New York, Young regularly appeared on Look Up and Live, a weekly Sunday morning television program on CBS, produced by the National Council of Churches in an effort to reach out to secular youth.[1]

Young also travelled to Geneva for meetings of the World Council of Churches around the United States.

However, as the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum, Young decided that his place was back in the South. He and Jean moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1961, and again worked on drives to register black voters. In 1960 he joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Young was jailed for his participation in civil rights demonstrations, both in Selma, Alabama, and in St. Augustine, Florida. Young played a key role in the events in Birmingham, Alabama, serving as a mediator between the white and black communities. In 1964 Young was named executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), becoming, in that capacity, one of Dr. King's principal lieutenants. As a colleague and friend to Martin Luther King Jr. he was a strategist and negotiator during the Civil Rights Campaigns in Birmingham (1963), St. Augustine (1964), Selma (1965), and Atlanta (1966) that resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. He was with King in Memphis, Tennessee, when King was assassinated in 1968.

Career in Congress

In 1970 Andrew Young ran as a Democrat for Congress from Georgia, but was unsuccessful. After his defeat, Rev. Fred C. Bennette, Jr., introduced him to Murray M. Silver, Esq., Atlanta, Georgia, Attorney, who served as his campaign finance chairman, promoted concerts featuring top entertainers including Harry Belafonte and Bill Withers. He ran again in 1972 and won. He later was re-elected in 1974 and in 1976. During his four-plus years in Congress he was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and he was involved in several debates regarding foreign relations including the decision to stop supporting the Portuguese attempts to hold on to their colonies in southern Africa. Young also sat on the powerful Rules committee and the Banking and Urban Development committee. Young opposed the Vietnam War,[2] helped enact legislation that established a U.S. Institute for peace, established the Chattahoochee River National Park and negotiated federal funds for MARTA and the Atlanta Highways.

UN Ambassador

Ambassador Young, calling from New York City on an STU-I secure phone during the Israel-Egypt peace talks. (NSA museum)

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Young to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Young resigned from Congress, and his seat was soon afterward taken by Wyche Fowler after a special election.

Though the US and the UN enacted an arms embargo against South Africa, as President Carter’s UN ambassador, Andrew Young vetoed economic sanctions.[3]

Young caused controversy when, during a July 1978 interview with French newspaper Le Matin de Paris, while discussing the Soviet Union and its treatment of political dissidents, he said, "We still have hundreds of people that I would categorize as political prisoners in our prisons," in reference to jailed civil-rights and anti-war protestors. In response, U.S. Representative Larry McDonald (D-GA) sponsored a resolution to impeach Young, but the measure failed 293 to 82. Carter referred to it in a press conference as an "unfortunate statement".[4]

In 1979, Young played a leading role in advancing a settlement in Rhodesia with Robert Mugabe and Joshua Nkomo, who had been two of the military leaders in the Rhodesian Bush War, which had ended in 1979. The settlement paved the way for Mugabe to take power as Prime Minister of the newly-formed Republic of Zimbabwe. There had been a general election in 1979, bringing Bishop Abel Muzorewa to power as leader of the United African National Council leading to the short-lived country of Zimbabwe Rhodesia. Young refused to accept the election's results, and described the election as "neofascist", a sentiment echoed by United Nations Security Council Resolution 445 and 448. The situation was resolved the next year with the Lancaster House Agreement and the establishment of Zimbabwe.[4]

Young's favoring of Mugabe and Nkomo over Muzorewa and his predecessor and ally, Ian Smith, was, and remains, controversial. It was supported at the time by many African-American activists, including Jesse Jackson and Coretta Scott King, who sided with the anti-colonialism represented by Mugabe and Nkomo.[4] However, it was opposed by others, including civil-rights leader Bayard Rustin, who argued that the 1979 election had been "free and fair",[5] as well as senators Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (I-VA) and Jesse Helms (R-NC). It was later criticized in 2005 by Gabriel Shumba, executive director of the anti-Mugabe Zimbabwe Exiles Forum.[6]

In July 1979, Young found out that an upcoming report by the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights called for the creation of a Palestinian State. Young wanted to delay the report because the Carter Administration was dealing with too many other issues at the time. He met with the UN representatives of several Arab countries to try to convince them the report should be delayed; they agreed in principle, but insisted that the Palestine Liberation Organization also had to agree. As a result, on July 20, Young met with Zehdi Terzi, the UN representative of the PLO, at the apartment of the UN Ambassador from Kuwait. On August 10, news of this meeting became public. The meeting was highly controversial, since the United States had already promised Israel that it would not meet directly with the PLO until the PLO recognized Israel's right to exist.[4]

Young's UN ambassadorship ended on August 14.[4][7][8] Jimmy Carter denied any complicity in what was called the "Andy Young Affair", and asked Young to resign. Asked about the incident by Time soon afterward, Young stated, "It is very difficult to do the things that I think are in the interest of the country and maintain the standards of protocol and diplomacy... I really don't feel a bit sorry for anything that I have done."[9] Soon afterward, on the television show Meet the Press, he stated that Israel was "stubborn and intransigent."[7]

Young spent the next two years as a private citizen, as head of his consulting firm, "Young Ideas".

Atlanta mayor

In 1981, after being urged by a number of people, including Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr., Young ran for mayor of Atlanta. He was elected later that year with 55% of the vote, succeeding Maynard Jackson. As mayor of Atlanta, he brought in $70 billion of new private investment.[citation needed] He continued and expanded Maynard Jackson's programs for including minority and female-owned businesses in all city contracts. The Mayor's Task Force on Education established the Dream Jamboree College Fair that tripled the college scholarships given to Atlanta public school graduates. In 1985, he was involved in privatizing the Atlanta Zoo, which was renamed Zoo Atlanta. The then-moribund zoo was overhauled, making ecological habitats specific to different animals.[citation needed]

Young was re-elected as Mayor in 1985 with more than 80% of the vote. Atlanta hosted the 1988 Democratic National Convention during Young's tenure. He was prohibited by term limits from running for a third term.

Post-mayoral career

Young ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Georgia in 1990, losing in the Democratic primary run-off to future Governor Zell Miller. However, while running for the Statehouse, he simultaneously was serving as a co-chairman of a committee which, at the time, was attempting to bring the 1996 Summer Olympics to Atlanta. Young played a significant role in the success of Atlanta's bid to host the Summer Games.

In October 1994, then-U.S. president Bill Clinton, along with then-president of South Africa Nelson Mandela, established the Southern Africa Enterprise Development Fund (SAEDF), and named Young as its Chairman. The fund was established to provide funding to help small- and medium-size indigenous businesses throughout southern Africa.

In 1996, Young wrote A Way Out of No Way: The Spiritual Memoirs of Andrew Young, published by Thomas Nelson.

In 1996, Young and Carlton Masters co-founded GoodWorks International, a consulting firm "offering international market access and political risk analysis in key emerging markets within Africa and the Caribbean." The company's Web site also notes that "GWI principals have backgrounds in human rights and public service. The concept of enhancing the greater good is intrinsic to our business endeavors." Nike is one of GoodWorks' most visible corporate clients. In the late 1990s, at the height of controversy over the company's labor practices, Young led a delegation to report on Nike operations in Vietnam. Anti-sweatshop activists derided the report as a whitewash and raised concerns that Nike was trading on Young's background as a civil-rights activist to improve Nike's corporate image.

Young also has been a director of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy, and also is the chairman of the board for the Global Initiative for the Advancement of Nutritional Therapy.[10]

From 2000 to 2001, Young served as president of the National Council of Churches.[11]

In 2003, Young founded the Andrew Young Foundation, an organization meant to support and promote education, health, leadership and human rights in the United States, Africa and the Caribbean.[12]

In 2004 Young briefly considered running for U.S. Senate from Georgia after the incumbent, Zell Miller, announced his retirement, but decided not to re-enter public life.

In 2005, to honor the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Young, William Wachtel and Norman Ornstein founded Why Tuesday?, a nonpartisan group dedicated to increasing voter participation by moving the national voting day from Tuesday to the weekend.

From February to August 2006, Young served as the public spokesman for Working Families for Wal-Mart, an advocacy group for the retail chain Wal-Mart.[13] Young resigned from the position soon after a controversial interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel, in which, when asked about Wal-Mart hurting independent businesses, he replied, "You see those are the people who have been overcharging us, and they sold out and moved to Florida. I think they’ve ripped off our communities enough. First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now it’s Arabs."[14]

In 2007, the Andrew Young Foundation produced the documentary film Rwanda Rising,[15] about Rwanda's progress since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. Young also served as the film's narrator. Rwanda Rising premiered as the opening night selection at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles in 2007.[16]

An edited version of Rwanda Rising served as the pilot episode of Andrew Young Presents,[17] a series of quarterly, hour long specials airing on nationally syndicated television.[18]

On January 22, 2008, Young appeared as a guest on the television show The Colbert Report. Host Stephen Colbert invited Young to appear during the writer's strike, because, many years earlier, Young and Colbert's father had worked together, but on opposite sides, to mediate a Charleston, South Carolina, hospital workers' strike.

Young made another appearance on The Colbert Report on November 5, 2008, to talk about the election of Barack Obama to the presidency.

In February 2012 Young was appointed a Georgia Trustee.

Personal life and family

Young had four children with his first wife, Jean Childs, who died of cancer in 1994. He married his second wife, Carolyn McClain, in 1996.

According to a DNA analysis performed by African Ancestry Inc., he descended partially from people of Sierra Leone. [19]

Young himself was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 1999, which was successfully removed with surgery in January 2000.[20]

Books

Awards and honors

Places named after Andrew Young

Footnotes

  1. ^ Charles Templeton memoir
  2. ^ a b "Andrew Young". Encyclopædia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/blackhistory/article-9078051.
  3. ^ http://www.popmatters.com/pm/post/153173-doc-series-have-you-heard-from-johannesburg-premieres-on-pbs-112
  4. ^ a b c d e DeRoche, Andrew (2003). Andrew Young: Civil Rights Ambassador. ISBN 0-8420-2956-7. http://books.google.com/books?id=SzSYoGvUWLgC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  5. ^ Rustin, Bayard (July 1979). "The War Against Zimbabwe". Commentary. http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/the-war-against-zimbabwe-6140.
  6. ^ Hill, Geoff (2005). What happens after Mugabe?. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-77007-102-5. http://books.google.com/books?id=RTL93ULq3TIC&pg=PA8#v=onepage&q&f=false.
  7. ^ a b Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. pp. 272–273. ISBN 0-465-04195-7.
  8. ^ "Foreign Policy, Black America and the Andy Young Affair". Ebony. January 1980. http://books.google.com/books?id=3MsDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA116#v=twopage&q&f=false.
  9. ^ "The Fall of Andy Young". Tim. August 27, 1979. Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. http://web.archive.org/web/20110628235945/http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,920547,00.html.
  10. ^ Global Initiative For The Advancement of Nutritional Therapy
  11. ^ NCC PRESIDENT 2000-2001: Ambassador Andrew Young
  12. ^ Andrew Young Foundation homepage
  13. ^ Young faces criticism in position on Wal-Mart, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 25, 2006
  14. ^ Wal-Mart Image-Builder Resigns, New York Times, August 18, 2006
  15. ^ Rwanda Rising (2007) at the Internet Movie Database
  16. ^ Premiere Of Rwanda Rising Is Sept. 1, The Chattanoogan, August 13, 2007
  17. ^ "Andrew Young Presents" (2008) at the Internet Movie Database
  18. ^ Andrew Young Presents official website
  19. ^ http://www.prweb.com/releases/2008/11/prweb1673564.htm Growing Interest in DNA-Based Genetic Testing Among African American with Historic Election of President Elect Barack Obama
  20. ^ Andrew Young Released From Hospital After Cancer Surgery In Atlanta, Jet, January 17, 2000
  21. ^ Emmys honor former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, Associated Press, February 23, 2011
  22. ^ http://savannahnow.com/accent/2012-01-22/civil-rights-icon-atlanta-developer-will-share-stage-feb-11-ghs-gala
  23. ^ Andrew and Walter Young Celebrate a YMCA Milestone, February 12, 2010, Atlanta Magazine

References

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Fletcher Thompson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 5th congressional district

January 3, 1973 – January 29, 1977
Succeeded by
Wyche Fowler
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
William Scranton
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
1977–1979
Succeeded by
Donald McHenry
Political offices
Preceded by
Maynard Jackson
Mayor of Atlanta
1982–1990
Succeeded by
Maynard Jackson