Julian Bond, one of America's foremost civil rights activists and a former chairman of the NAACP, has died at age 75, according to reports citing the Southern Poverty Law Center

A New York Times obituary called Bond, "a charismatic figure of the 1960s civil rights movement, a lightning rod of the anti-Vietnam War campaign and a lifelong champion of equal rights for minorities" who was "one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, while he was a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta."

Bond was a founder of the Southern Poverty Law center and later served as board chairman of the NAACP for 10 years. He also served as a Georgia state legislator and as a professor at the University of Virginia.

"With Julian's passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice," SPLC co-founder Morris Dees said in a statement to The Associated Press. "He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all."

Stephen Colbert remembered Bond on Twitter as "a great man" and "my black friend," referring to this classic Bond appearance on The Colbert Report from 2006: