Fred Shuttlesworth, a civil rights icon, passed away Wednesday at age 89. He worked tirelessly since the 1950s to advance equality for blacks in America, even seeing his home bombed on Christmas Day in 1956.
“And today we stand on his shoulders, and the shoulders of all those who marched and sat and lifted their voices to help perfect our union,” President Barack Obama said.
Shuttlesworth was described as “the man most feared by Southern racists” in a 1961 CBS documentary, according to USA Today.
The LA Times called Shuttlesworth “a blunt-talking preacher who braved beatings, bombings and fire-hosings to push Birmingham, Ala., to the forefront of the civil rights movement.”
Shuttlesworth was the last of the “Big Three” (Shuttlesworth, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Ralph David Abernathy) civil rights leaders to pass away.