The Rev. E. Randel T. Osburn, a civil rights leader who had been fighting for social justice since the age of 10, died Friday in Atlanta.
Osburn, born Oct. 11, 1945, was a brother of Christine Osburn Jackson, who had been the chief executive officer of the YWCA of Greater Charleston for 36 years when she retired five years ago.
The Osburns, who were born and grew up in Marion, Ala., were the cousins of Coretta Scott King, wife of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The Rev. Osburn was an occasional visitor and speaker in Charleston.
When he was just 21 years old, he was selected as a member of Martin Luther King's original field staff.
Osburn left that position when he was elected as a national vice president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. At that time, he was the youngest person to be elected to such a position.
Osburn also worked through the conference's programming arm and led boycotts that eventually brought new sources of income to many black Americans.
He was one of the first black leaders to move to the forefront of the anti-war movement, and was arrested in 1965 for protesting the Vietnam War.
He traveled to many corners of the world, including Russia and Africa, to promote peace.
Osburn earned a law degree from John Marshall Law School. He also secured a $100,000 endowment and launched the Martin Luther King III and Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation for John Marshall students who demonstrate service to others.
Osburn had served as national administrator, director of chapter affiliates and chief operating officer of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and as executive director of the SCLC Foundation.
The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in Marion. A memorial service will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in West Hunter Street Baptist Church in Atlanta.
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