Remembering Tom Atkins

This article is more than 12 years old.

As the family of the late Tom Atkins mourns his death at age 69 and continues to plan a public memorial, remembrances pour in from friends and colleagues.

He was executive secretary and president of the Boston branch of the NAACP, and the general counsel for the national NAACP.

In 1967, he was the first African American elected to the Boston City Council in the 20th century.

He's remembered as a natural leader, a forward thinker and a master political strategist.

In this archival sound, Tom Atkins explains how he got then-Boston mayor Kevin White to change his mind and allow James Brown to play the Boston Garden the night Martin Luther King was assassinated, in April 1968.

This program aired on July 4, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.