Abernathy


Abernathy

Abernathy

Born on March 11, 1926, in Linden, Alabama, Ralph D. Abernathy was a Baptist minister who, with Martin Luther King Jr., organized the historical Montgomery bus boycotts. He co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was a major civil rights figure, serving as close adviser to King and later assuming SCLC presidency. Later returning to the ministry, Abernathy died on April 17, 1990, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Early Years

Ralph David Abernathy Sr. was born on March 11, 1926, in Linden, Alabama, the 10th of 12 offspring born to Louivery Abernathy and William Abernathy, a farmer and deacon. Upon graduating from high school, Abernathy was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II, subsequently leaving his family’s 500-acre farm.Following his military service, in 1948, Abernathy became an ordained minister while pursuing his education. He earned a mathematics degree from Alabama State College in 1950, and received a master’s degree in sociology from Atlanta University the following year. He then became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery and dean of students at Alabama State. He also married Juanita Odessa Jones; the two would have four children together. http://www.biography.com/people/ralph-d-abernathy-9174397