Andrew Jackson Young was educated at Howard University and earned a divinity degree at the Hartford Seminary. While serving as pastor of a church in Marion, Alabama, in the mid-1950s, he was drawn to the civil rights struggle. Young studied Gandhi’s doctrine of nonviolence and applied it to African American peaceful protests. He soon joined Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, working to register African American voters. In 1964 he became its executive director, where he helped organize peaceful protests and became one of King’s principal lieutenants. He was with the civil rights leader when King was shot in Memphis in 1968. Young was elected to three terms in Congress, was mayor of Atlanta, and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Carter administration. He has since immersed himself in philanthropic work and has written several books about his experiences in the civil rights movement.
Ross Rossin, who emigrated from Bulgaria in 2001, has created a photorealistic portrait that gives the viewer an unadulterated image of a man whose face shows a lifetime of experience.
The artist; purchased by NPG through gift of Jack Watson 2010