Whitney Moore Young Jr. was born in
Lincoln Ridge, Kentucky on July 31, 1921. His primary schooling was at
the Lincoln Institute where he graduated as class
valedictorian. The Institute was a boarding school run by his
father. Whitney's mother also taught at the school. In 1946, he earned
his BS degree from Kentucky State Industrial College
after returning from a hitch in the Army and teaching school for a
Whitney's experience while serving in
the European Theatre during World War II under a white captain in an
all black regiment solidified his desire to enter the race relations
field. Whitney married Margaret Buckner in 1944.
After the war, he began his graduate
studies in social work at the University of Minnesota.
He earned his Masters degree in 1947.
Whitney worked for the St. Paul
Urban League from 1947 to 1950 and the Omaha, Nebraska
Urban League from 1950 to 1954. During this time he also
worked as an instructor at the Nebraska School of Social Work
and Creighton University.
In 1954, he became the Dean of Atlanta
University School of Social Work, which gave him the
opportunity to actively participate in the Civil Rights battles of the
South. He was involved in desegregating the Atlanta Public
Library system and also co-chaired The Atlanta Council
on Human Relations.
In 1961, Whitney Young became executive
director of the National Urban League. He served on
commissions under both Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.
Whitney initiated Urban League goals
and plans which included helping Blacks in the areas of housing,
employment and education. His programs were incorporated into
President Johnson's 1960's Anti-Poverty Program.
He was the author of two books, To
Be Equal and Beyond Racism.
Whitney Moore Young died in a swimming accident while visiting Lagos,
Nigeria on March 11, 1971.
Moore Young, Jr.: Social Work Administrator 1921-1971