The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the President on the Passing of Civil Rights Leader Fred Shuttlesworth

Michelle and I were saddened to hear about the passing of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth today.  As one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Reverend Shuttlesworth dedicated his life to advancing the cause of justice for all Americans.  He was a testament to the strength of the human spirit.  And today we stand on his shoulders, and the shoulders of all those who marched and sat and lifted their voices to help perfect our union.

I will never forget having the opportunity several years ago to push Reverend Shuttlesworth in his wheelchair across the Edmund Pettus Bridge – a symbol of the sacrifices that he and so many others made in the name of equality.  America owes Reverend Shuttlesworth a debt of gratitude, and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sephira, and their family, friends and loved ones.

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