Joseph Echols Lowery

Date of Birth October 6, 1921
Place of Birth Huntsville, Alabama
Age 99 years old
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Joseph Lowery

Joseph Echols Lowery was an American minister in the United Methodist Church and leader in the civil rights movement. He founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr. and others, serving as its vice president, later chairman of the board, and from 1977 to 1997 its president. Lowery participated in most of the major activities of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, and continued his civil rights work into the 21st century. He was called the "Dean of the Civil Rights Movement." In 2009, Lowery received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from U.S. President Barack Obama.

Born: Joseph Echols Lowery, October 6, 1921, Huntsville, Alabama, U.S.
Died: March 27, 2020, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Spouse(s): Agnes Moore (div.)
Children: 5
Known for: Civil rights movement
Civilian awards: Presidential Medal of Freedom 2009

About Joseph Echols Lowery

Minister in the United Methodist Church and leader in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's who was the third president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Before Fame

He was a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and he attended the Knoxville College and Alabama A&M College, before finishing his bachelor of arts degree at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia.


He led the Selma to Montgomery march of 1965 and he co-founded the Black Leadership Forum, a consortium of Black advocacy groups.

Family Life

He was married to Evelyn G. Lowery, with whom he had three daughters. Their names were Yvonne, Karen, and Cheryl.


He succeeded Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Information related to Joseph Lowery

  • Paine College alumni
  • Knoxville College alumni
  • African-American Methodist clergy
  • 21st-century African-American activists
  • American anti–Iraq War activists
  • American Methodist clergy
  • Nonviolence advocates
  • 20th-century African-American activists
  • American civil rights activists
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients
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Latest information about Joseph Echols Lowery updated on January 18, 2021.

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