Hundreds gather to celebrate Andrew Young's 80th birthday

by: Carl Willis Updated:


ATLANTA - Celebrities including Chris Tucker and India Arie celebrated Ambassador Andrew Young's 80th birthday.

The civil rights pioneer stepped away from his seat across from media icon Oprah Winfrey and Mayor Kasim Reed to talk to Channel 2's Carl Willis about the occasion celebrating his milestone birthday and decades of service.

"It's fabulous because of the talent," said Young. "It's fabulous because of the friends. It's fabulous because the city and the country and people from all over the world have turned out to say thank you. But they don't have anything to thank me for because everything I've done, I have really loved."

More than 1,000 people attended the function sponsored by the Andrew Young Foundation.

The former Atlanta mayor, congressman and UN Ambassador also heard from those he inspired, including Channel 2 Action News Anchor Monica Pearson.

"If it weren't for Andy, and others just like him during the movement, I would not have had the opportunity to become Atlanta's first woman and first African-American to anchor the evening news," said Pearson.

Actors Jasmine Guy and Chris Tucker shared their thoughts about Young.

"I feel indebted to him for what he's done in the civil rights movement," said Guy.

"He's done so much for everybody in the world and I love him personally," added Tucker.

Young said the night's purpose was simple.

"Just having a good time and hoping the messages that come from the people being honored and the people who sing get out to all the people," he said.

Former President Bill Clinton and author Maya Angelou also contributed to the evening by sending messages to Young via video.