While a competitive swimmer, Andrew Young churned the water as a sprint freestyler. Later in his life, he churned the minds of those around him and instilled the hopes and desires of people around the world to strive for a better world community. As pastor, congressman, ambassador, mayor and businessman, he is a man of high standards and achievements.
Andrew swam at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in the early 1950's at a time when blacks were excluded from most swimming pools in the country. In fact, there were very few swimming pools at all and Andrew saw the need to develop and build additional pools, particularly in the inner cities. When he became mayor of Atlanta, twenty years later, he appropriated 1.25 million dollars in an effort to make swimming available to inner city residents.
Following his graduation from Howard University and Hartford Theological Seminary, Young pastored small Congregational Churches in Alabama and Georgia. Later he moved to New York City to become associate director of the Department of Youth Work for the National Council of Churches. In 1961, he returned to Atlanta to serve as a top aide to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during the civil rights movement of the 1960's, ultimately becoming Executive Vice President.
Representing the Fifth Congressional District of Georgia, Young was elected to three terms in the United States Congress House of Representatives. When Jimmy Carter became President of the United States in 1976, Andrew Young resigned his seat to become United States Ambassador to the United Nations, a position he served throughout the Carter administration.
Returning to Atlanta in 1981, he was elected mayor and re-elected for a second term in 1985. During his administration, over one half million jobs were created, and the metropolitan region attracted more than $70 billion on private investment and construction.
Following his terms as mayor, Young served as Executive Consultant for Law Companies Group, Incorporated, one of the most respected engineering and environmental consulting companies in the world.
In the summer of 1990, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 1996 Summer Games to Atlanta, USA. Andrew Young played an instrumental role in securing the Games for the city. Currently, he serves as co-chairman of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, the committee responsible for organizing the Games.
Young is a member of various boards and has received many awards during his career, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian award, and France's Legion d'Honneur, as well as more than thirty-five honorary degrees from universities such as Notre Dame, Yale, Morehouse and Emory.
It may have been the character-building qualities of sport and swimming that were instilled in Andrew Young, for he surfaced as a beacon from the water and spread his goodwill and administrative talents throughout the world for more than thirty-five years of public service.
Recipients of the Gold Medallion Award.