The champion of equal rights for all of society’s oppressed died on Saturday in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. and while condolences have been pouring in, we are now learning even more intimate details surrounding his death.
Bond, 75, leaves behind his wife of 24 years, Pamela Horowitz, who, says his sudden passing is from complications related to vascular disease. In a voice filled with emotion, Horowitz recalls a poignant incident that happened just as she was leaving the intensive care unit. She says a nurse who was the first to stop her and offer condolences told her.
His friends and family say he recently advocated for gay couples who wished to marry, and would chat and snap pictures with anyone on the street. He also is said to have talked regularly with President Barack Obama.
“Justice and equality was the mission that spanned his life – from his leadership of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to his founding role with the Southern Poverty Law Center, to his pioneering service in the Georgia legislature and his steady hand at the helm of the NAACP,” President Obama said in a statement Sunday. “Michelle and I have benefited from his example, his counsel, and his friendship – and we offer our prayers and sympathies to his wife, Pamela, and his children.”
Paul Gaston, a history professor who worked with Bond at the University of Virginia, was heartbroken upon hearing the news of Bond’s death on television and praised the way Bond communicated the subject of civil rights; to any and everyone, in a way that they could understand it; whether on the national stage or in the classroom.
“He was one of the most popular teachers because he kept telling truths,” Gaston said. “He opened students’ eyes to a world that was foreign to many of them. They told me they were very grateful for that course because it changed their lives.”