(NBC) -- Civil rights icon Reverend Joseph Lowery died Friday night. He was 98 years old.
Lowery devoted decades of his life to civil rights and social change.
He was a founding committee member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and its longest-serving president.
Lowery worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others to lead African-Americans through the fifties and sixties.
In 2009, Lowery gave the benediction at the inauguration of Barack Obama.
Later that year, Obama awarded Lowery with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role in the civil rights movement.
A family spokesperson said Lowery's death was not related to the coronavirus pandemic.