(CNN) — Civil rights leader Joseph Lowery has died. A member of the board of the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute says he passed “not very long ago.”
Lowery founded the civil rights movement in Mobile, Alabama and was often referred to as the “Dean of the Civil Rights Movement.”
He was one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and served as the president from 1977-1998.
In 1997, Lowery received the lifetime achievement award from the NAACP.
And in 2009 he received the nation’s highest civilian honors — the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Lowery was 98 years old.