Stanford University The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
Rev. Will D. Campbell, author and civil rights activist, dead at 88.
June 04, 2013

Born in Amite County, Mississippi, in 1924, Will D. Campbell grew up in the segregated South and was ordained as a minister at the age of seventeen. After attending Yale Divinity School, Campbell worked as a pastor before accepting a position as chaplain at the University of Mississippi. He resigned as chaplain after receiving death threats for his vocal support of integration.

Following his resignation from the uinversity, Campbell worked for the National Council of Churches. During his tenure with the council, he worked with many prominant civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1957, King invited Campbell to the founding meeting of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

During his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, Campbell participated in the integration efforts in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, the Freedom Rides in 1961, and the Birmingham Campaign in 1963. He was also a vocal advocate for gay rights and equal rights for women. Campbell was the author of several books, including Brother to a Dragonfly (1977), a finalist for the National Book Award.

For more on the life of Will D. Campbell, click here.

To read more about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, click here.

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