Civil rights foot soldier James Orange dies at 65

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 17, 2008

Wire and staff report

One of the lieutenants of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference who worked alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement has died.

The Rev. James E. Orange of Birmingham died on Saturday at Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta. He was 65.

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Orange delivered the keynote speech at the 2007 Bridge Crossing Jubilee&8217;s mass meeting program at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Selma.

During his visit, Mayor James Perkins

Jr. awarded Orange a key to the city.

Orange marched in his hometown in 1963 alongside King and the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy, to help integrate facilities and transportation. He lived in southwest Atlanta for more than four decades.

As project coordinator with the SCLC from 1965 to 1970, Orange later became a regional coordinator with AFL-CIO in Atlanta, where he incorporated King&8217;s nonviolence philosophy and promoted unity between national labor leaders and King&8217;s &8220;beloved community.&8221; He retired in 2005.