Funeral held for North Carolina civil rights leader Julius Chambers

August 8, 2013 3:30:23 PM PDT
Dignitaries from across North Carolina turned out Thursday in Charlotte for the funeral of civil rights giant Julius Chambers.

The funeral was held at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.

Chambers died Friday after being in declining health for months. He was 76.

Chambers opened the state's first integrated law practice in 1964. In 1971, he and his partners won a key school busing case against Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. He quickly made a name for himself as a fierce defender of civil rights.

Because of his work, Chambers' home and car were fire bombed in 1965 and his office was burned to the ground in 1971.

"Chambers felt sorry for those who were filled with the hatred of the past, and he did not have time nor energy to hate back," said Chambers' law partner, James Ferguson.

Chambers also served as chancellor of his alma mater, North Carolina Central University, from 1993 to 2001.

Chambers is survived by his son, daughter and grandchildren.

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