Lonnie C. King
1936 - 2019
{ "" }
Share
Share Lonnie's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Lonnie C. King, one of the leaders of the Atlanta Student Movement in 1960, has died.
The protests and an economic boycott which cost downtown businesses millions of dollars over the 1960 Christmas holiday led to the desegregation of Atlanta stores and restaurants.
King was born in in Arlington, Ga., near Albany. He came to Atlanta as a young man, attending David T. Howard High School and Morehouse College.
King was not related to the family of Martin Luther King Jr.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is gathering more information about his death.

Read more about Lonnie King on ajc.com
Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Mar. 5, 2019.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
MAR
17
Celebration of Life
04:00 - 06:00 PM
At Funeral Home
MAR
18
Calling hours
12:00 - 06:00 PM
At Funeral Home
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
35 entries
March 20, 2019
With all my love to my "Arlington Neighbor" I'm going to miss you dearly, thanks for all the laughs and great stories!
Denise Miller
March 19, 2019
Wish I could have walked with you, God bless ,and thank you for what you've done for all of us. To make life a little better .
Steven King
March 18, 2019
Lonnie King was a great man and a great friend. He will be sorely missed.
Michael Trotter
March 17, 2019
Rest in peace, lonnie
Willie Dean Moore Billingslea
March 17, 2019
Tom Asher
March 11, 2019
Rest in Heaven Uncle Lonnie
Gwendolyn Mason
March 11, 2019
Met Lonnie King in Washington,DC. Came to Atlanta, GA. Served with him when he was Président and Chairman of the Board of NAACP. He pas a dillegant organiser and activist.
Edwin Bethea
March 11, 2019
I was the Accountant in the Office of the Comptroller, at Atlanta University. I was married with three young children. I wanted to be active in the movement. I was advised that men with families would be responsible for coordinating with the Atlanta Police Department to get students out of jail. Lonnie and I established a friendship that lasted over the years. The last time we were together was at his wife's funeral in Baltimore, MD. Our friendship lasted over the years although we would see each other on rare occasions as we moved through life.Ruby and Lonnie's wife were classmates at Spelman College. Whenever Ruby and I were in Atlanta one stop would be to visit the Kings. We will miss both of them very much.

Gus Clay (Ruby Clay (deceased)
Augustus Clay, Jr
March 11, 2019
I shared this on my book's (Rich's: A Southern Institution) Facebook page last week and thought it was appropriate to share here as well:

It is with extreme sadness that I share the news of Dr. Lonnie King Jr.s passing today. How do I sum up what someone meant to me in a Facebook post? I dont know, truthfully. Lonnie King was not only an unsung hero of the Civil Rights movement who changed national history but also a friend and mentor, a towering giant of intellectualism.

Let me put Lonnies life in perspective (sans the impact he brought as a father, husband, relative or friend): JFK would not have been the 35th president of the United States if it werent for Lonnie King. If he had not spearheaded the Atlanta student movement in 1960, which helped lead Kennedy to the White House, wed have no Camelot, no Happy Birthday, Mr. President. Perhaps, too, Tricky Dicks legacy would be vastly different. Quite simply, Lonnie changed history. Have you heard of the Butterfly Effect? Thats Lonnie, his life and how he changed the national stage almost 59 years ago.

Regarding Lonnie and his legacy on Richs, let me leave that to the pages of my book to explain. Here, I simply want to share some personal memories, which arent really connected, per se, in any type of semblance or story, but are presented as ramblings thoughts of a man I admired.

I remember the day I drove to Lonnies house in Ben Hill to meet him for the first time. It was to be my first of many interviews with him about Richs. When I got out of my car at his home, I had been instructed to knock on his side/back door as his wife was ill at the time and the front door had been blocked and was to be unused to cause the least amount of disturbance to her upon entering the home. Then, as now, the irony of entering via the back door though not meant as a slight wasnt lost on me (as a white male).

Inside the house which reminded me of the mid-century ranch I grew up in in Dothan, Alabama introductions dispensed, we walked to the dining room table and sat down. I began to interview Lonnie, scribbling down as much as I could as fast as I could. I remember him being surprised I didnt tape our conversations; I remember me being surprised at how much he was telling me, and I dont mean just about Richs, I mean about life. I quickly realized this man had seen more in the space of 10 years during the height of the Civil Rights movement than I would likely ever see in my entire life. There across a wooden table top talking to an unproven researcher and unpublished author was a living link to history. And from that initial meeting, a two-hour interview, grew so much more

I remember much about Lonnie countless conversations with him about Richs and the Civil Rights Movement in Atlanta during the 1960s (some things of which Ive never repeated publicly), anxiously sharing with him the initial draft chapter in my book about him, attending the funeral of his wife at Spelman, watching the City of Atlanta recognize him as a Civil Rights leader, witnessing him receive an honorary doctorate from Piedmont College (cutting up with his daughter at the event), watching a mural being dedicated to his efforts and in his honor at the Sam Nunn Federal Building in Atlanta, discovering that he and Nathalie Dupree who I also interviewed for Richs had actually worked together years earlier as young Democrats, talking to him about teaching at Georgia State University, randomly running into him at Mary Macs with Richs Foundation President Thomas Asher before they grew to know each other

A few months ago, I reached out to Lonnie to tell him PBS/GPTV was doing a documentary on Richs and that we (I was helping in the effort) wanted to get him scheduled for an interview (or multiple). He asked me to call him back in two weeks; he hadnt been feeling well. I called him back, and he asked me to call him in a couple of months as he was getting over being sick. I had a sinking feeling then that we might not get him on tape for the special. Sadly, I was right.

Of all the things I remember Lonnie telling me, one admission stands out the most: when we were talking in our first meeting about the Civil Rights movement and how things have changed from the 1960s to the 2000s, allowing for laws enacted against discrimination, etc., I asked him what was different about the movement now versus then, his generation and the one that followed, he said, we never thought wed win, to which he added that life happened; that they (the students) needed to get jobs, to raise families. Fortunately, Lonnie carried on with the NAACP, with telling his story, with living.

Rest in peace, Lonnie. You changed my life in unimaginable ways. I stand in awe of the man you were.
Jeff Clemmons
Friend
March 10, 2019
You were a dear friend and I am sorry we didn't keep in touch.
Birdie Hix Carter
March 10, 2019
I lived in Atlanta in 1971-73 and supported activities in which Lonnie was involved. I worked at Director of the Atlanta Association of Educators in an effort to merge the Black and white teachers' association. At that time, Lonnie worked to get the first Black superintendent, Dr. Crim. I was blessed to work with Dr. Crim, Dr. Mays and Lonnie for the benefit of teachers. My job with the teachers was a difficult one, but Lonnie was always there to support me. May he rest in peace and be remembered as a true soldier for justice and equality for our people. Thank you, Lonnie. We owe you a lot, and will never forget you.
Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.
March 10, 2019
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
March 9, 2019
Reverend Ann Pierre
Friend
March 8, 2019
My deepest sympathy to all who knew Lonnie. He will be missed.
Beverly Briscoe
March 8, 2019
Beverly Briscoe
March 8, 2019
There is no doubt that you walked into heaven and was greeted with the words " Job well done!! You have been a faithful servant and lived a life of service by insuring that all people, no matter the color of their skin, were able to participate in our society as full citizens. Rest in peace my dear friend, you will be missed!
Hattie Dorsey
March 7, 2019
I have enjoyed reading this legacy of my 2nd cousin I did not know. RIP
Gala King-Wilson
Family
March 7, 2019
Well done, brave warrior.
Marilyn Pryce Hoytt
March 7, 2019
Dedication of Art Installation at Richard Russell Bldg. Commemorating the Atlanta Student Movement
Jessica Muhammad
March 7, 2019
I met Lonnie only briefly during the summer of 2017 for a fellowship in Atlanta. Those few encounters left, however, a lasting impression on me. He demonstrated such an admirable openness and robust sense of justice and humanity that it was hard for those qualities not to rub off.
Pedro Monque
March 7, 2019
Thank you for your service to Atlanta, the Southern Freedom Movement and the country. I will fondly remember our chats and with Connie Curry. Rest In Power, Sir.
Benétta Standly
March 7, 2019
Thank you Lonnie. Your contributions to the Eva Thomas High School community in College Park, Georgia were tantamount to our student-led demonstrations in the late 60's. We had a real champion guiding us in our marches and building takeovers. May your ascencion be blessed!
Jessica Muhammad
March 6, 2019
I cold called Lonnie King to ask him if he would be willing to come to a class on civil Rights I was teaching at Emory OLLI. He answered immediately . Suddenly I was actually talking to this giant of the movement. He agreed to come, and when he did he was so well received that he was invited to teach. His class was amazing, grounded in history, and a fascinating view into how he had fundamentally changed our world.
It was a privilege to know him.
Mary Whiteman
Coworker
March 6, 2019
Love, Light and Prayers for comfort for his family.
I'm thankful I had the opportunity to meet and come to know Lonnie, as I was one of Mrs. Ora's hospice nurses.
He was an Amazing man.
Sharon Beacham
March 6, 2019
To the Family of Lonnie C. King,
Your father, along with Julian Bond, got me (a Spelman student)involved in the Atlanta Student Movement in March 1961. He was a dynamic and influential personality. He impacted the lives of many students and will surely be missed. May God continue to shower you all with His Grace and Mercy during this sad time and in the days ahead. With deepest sympathy.
Gloria Knowles Bell and Family
Gloria Bell
March 6, 2019
Wylma Blanding
March 6, 2019
Lonnie King and other students in the Atlanta University center made and impact not only in Atlanta,but in the word. Students from Clark College, Morris Brown,ITC,Speiman,and Morehouse worked to affect change
Wylma Blanding
March 6, 2019
I am so grateful that I met Lonnie King and had the honor of working with him at Georgia State University. What a kind, courageous, inspiring man. He gave so much to all of us in his lifetime. His bravery, determination, and profound sense of justice made Atlanta and the world a better place. I will miss him terribly.
Michelle Brattain
March 6, 2019
I shall always foundly remember Lonnie King. He was a visiting professor who taught a class, Urban Problems, at Oglethorpe University, Summer session 1970. At the time I had little appreciation for background and credentials he brought to this subject. Atlanta has lost another giant. My Condolences to the family.
John Fittipaldi
Student
March 5, 2019
To the Family:
God bless and keep you.

Lonnie was an inspiration to all who believed in JUSTICE, FREEDOM, and DIGNITY.
His light began to shine during his tenure as a student at David T. Howard High School. Throughout his life he has exemplified courage, stamina, and leadership. I'm saddened that he is gone, but his memory will remain in my heart.

Yvonne Harris Meadows
March 5, 2019
May God be with the family in y'all time of grief.
V Miller
March 5, 2019
I am sorry to hear about Lonnie. He and my brother, Bob Mants, also a member of SNVCC, (now deceased), were very close and Lonnie visited and ate at my Mom's many days during the movement. May you all be comforted during your bereavement.

The Mants Sisters
Roberta Hubert
March 5, 2019
My Sincere Condolences to the Family...
ROSENE VIRGIL
March 5, 2019
Dr. Lonnie King inspired me and my students at Kennesaw State over the last several years with his work to preserve the legacy of the Atlanta Student Movement. In 1960, he and his fellow students put their bodies into the fight for civil and human rights. In interviews and guest lectures, he provided us with the stories that transformed a city and a nation: https://soar.kennesaw.edu/handle/11360/2384

Dr. King will be sorely missed here on Earth, and yet we rejoice that his soul has climbed.
Jeanne Bohannon
March 5, 2019
I first met Dr. Lonnie King when working a Peachtree Hope Charter school. I really believed in the vision that he and the other Board members put forth, for the school. I admired and saw immediately that he was a servant and loved his community; So much so that he thought that our community deserved a better education. Dr. L. King, you probably had no idea how much of an impact you had on me. Your service to the community during the 50's and 60's, and your service to the community in the 2000's will forever be imbedded in the fabric of Atlanta and it's surrounding metro areas.
Kristin Rodgers
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences