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Former Board of Visitors Member Milton Reid Dies

Milton Reid, a local civil rights pioneer and former member of the Old Dominion University Board of Visitors, died Dec. 12, 2010, in Norfolk. He was 80.

Reid served as a member of the ODU board from July 1, 1970, to June 30, 1973. In a front-page obituary in The Virginian-Pilot Dec. 14, Reid was remembered as a fiery activist for civil rights, who was jailed numerous times as African Americans fought for equality.

A preacher, Reid was a friend and compatriot of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who preached at Reid's installation as pastor of New Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk in 1966. Reid founded the Virginia chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a civil rights organization.

Reid grew up in a large family headed by his father, the Rev. Moses A. Reid. In the 1930s, Moses Reid preached, worked as a laborer and farmed 15 acres in what would become Chesapeake. After serving in the Army, Reid married his wife Marian in 1954. He earned a history degree in 1955 and a divinity degree in 1958.

Later in life, Reid remained an activist, directing the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Life Center in Chesapeake, and organizing a celebration annually on King's birthday. He wrote a weekly column in the New Journal & Guide, a newspaper he owned from 1974 until 1987, and was completing work on a second book on spirituality.

This article was posted on: December 15, 2010

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