- Associated Press - Sunday, August 16, 2015

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) - President Barack Obama says the late civil rights activist Julian Bond was a hero and friend.

Obama says he and first lady Michelle Obama have benefited from Bond’s example, counsel and friendship.

Obama telephoned his condolences to Bond’s widow, Pamela, following Bond’s death Saturday night in Florida after a brief illness. He was 75.

Bond was a major figure in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, serving as a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and a founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Bond also served in the Georgia Legislature and was a longtime NAACP board chairman.

Obama, vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, adds that Bond helped change America for the better and “what better way to be remembered than that.”

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