James Reeb was born in Wichita, Kansas, on 1st January, 1927. A Unitarian minister, Reeb was active in the civil rights movement.
While in Selma on 8th March, Reeb was attacked by white mob with clubs. Reeb, who suffered massive head injuries, died in hospital two days later. His death resulted in a national outcry against the activities of white racists in the Deep South.