Andrew Young was born in New Orleans on 12th March, 1932. After graduating from Howard University in 1951 Young entered the Hartford Theological Seminary. Ordained in 1955, Young served as a pastor in Marion, Alabama and Thomasville and Beachton, Georgia.
Young joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and became increasingly active in the civil rights movement. He became executive director of the SCLC in 1964 and three years later, chairman of the Atlanta Community Relations Commission.
A member of the Democratic Party, Young unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1970. Two years later he won the seat and over the next four years became a leading spokesman in Congress for African American civil rights. An opponent of the Vietnam War, Young's main concern was to protect the funding of social programs.
In 1976 President Jimmy Carter appointed Young as the country's ambassador to the United Nations. His political views made him popular with the leaders of the Third World but he was forced to resign in 1979 after it became known he had been having meetings with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
Young returned to political office in 1981 when he was elected mayor of Atlanta. Re-elected in 1985, Young held the post until 1990. Later that year he failed in his attempt to become governor of Georgia.