In sad news, Julian Bond, Civil Rights Leader and former Chairman of NAACP, has passed away. He was 75.

Bond's passing was confirmed by the Southern Poverty Law Conference, who released their own statement today. Bond served as President of the SPLC from 1971 when it was founded by Morris Dees, until 1979, at which time he became a member of the Board of Directors. While attending Morehouse College, he co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and later stepped into the chairman position for the NAACP. He was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965, going on to serve 20 years. President Barack Obama remembers Bond as a "hero". “Justice and equality was the mission that spanned his life – from his leadership of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to his founding role with the Southern Poverty Law Center, to his pioneering service in the Georgia legislature and his steady hand at the helm of the N.A.A.C.P.. Julian Bond helped change this country for the better. And what better way to be remembered than that.”

Julian is survived by his wife, Pamela Horowitz, and his five children.