Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. was the preeminent civil
rights leader in the United States from the 1930s through the 50s, and
to a great extent through the 60s until his passing in 1972.
As Harlem's Congressman from 1945 until 1971, his
legislative and personal efforts drove the desegregation of public
schools, of the military, even of the U.S. Capitol itself.
During his chairmanship of the Education and Labor
Committee, bills which he oversaw significantly expanded opportunities
for all Americans in access to higher education, introduced the minimum
wage, and formed the cornerstone of the Great Society antipoverty