In Memoriam: Dr. Timuel Black

December 7, 1918 – October 13, 2021

It is with the deepest of sorrow that we announce the passing of our dear member and friend, Timuel Black, on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, in his home in Chicago. He was 102-years-old.

A long-time First Unitarian member, Tim often expressed his love of the church in discussions with Joe Harrington and other members.

He was a Chicago icon. As a writer, activist, educator, and revered Chicago elder statesman, he was active in many of the major movements and events that have shaped our nation. This includes the Normandy invasion, the Battle of the Bulge, and the liberation of Buchenwald. He marched for Civil Rights, led voter registration initiatives, stood on picket lines with teachers, supported Black student leaders in Chicago, and worked with organized labor.

Among those expressing sadness at Tim’s death was former President Barack Obama, who said in a Chicago Sun-Times article: “The city of Chicago and the world lost an icon with the passing of Timuel Black. Over his 102 years, Tim was many things: a veteran, historian, author, educator, civil rights leader, and humanitarian. But above all, Tim was a testament to the power of place, and how the work we do to improve one community can end up reverberating through other neighborhoods and other cities, eventually changing the world.”

A private service will be held next week at First Unitarian, and a public memorial service will be held December 5, 2021, at Rockefeller Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago.

For more on Tim’s amazing life, read the Chicago Sun-Times article here.