October 3, 1954 – Rev. Al Sharpton

One of America’s most influential civil rights leaders, Rev. Alfred Charles Sharpton, Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 3, 1954. Rev. Sharpton is a Baptist minister and a television and radio talk show host in addition to being one of the most prominent civil rights activists of this century.

Al Sharpton January 2015
Rev. Al Sharpton (January 2015)
Rev. Sharpton began in ministry at an age when most children were playing in sandboxes. He preached his first sermon at the post toddler age of four entitled “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled”.  In 1969 at age fourteen, Rev. Jesse Jackson named him Youth Director of Operation Breadbasket’s New York City office. Two years later in 1971, he founded the National Youth Movement. In 1991 Rev. Sharpton founded a civil rights organization called the National Action Network.

Al Sharpton 2 by David Shankbone
Rev. Al Sharpton (November 2007)
He has become one of the first people African Americans call for support and help from when they find themselves with a major problem occurring from a racial incident.  Rev. Sharpton has run for several political offices, including the United States Senate in New York, Mayor of New York City and for President of the United States in 2004.

TAG Sharpton Esaw Garner
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Reverend Al Sharpton (of the National Action Network) with Esaw Garner, widow of Eric Garner, at a protest in the Staten Island neighborhood where Eric Garner died while in police custody.