Civil rights icon Lowery celebrates 90th birthday

October 9, 2011 - 8:15 PM
Joseph Lowery s 90th

Civil rights pioneer Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, seated in a wheelchair, passes a poster of himself as he and wife Evelyn Lowery, right, arrive at Atlanta Symphony Hall for a celebration of his 90th birthday, held Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

ATLANTA (AP) — President Barack Obama and Stevie Wonder are among those wishing civil rights icon the Rev. Joseph Lowery a happy 90th birthday.

On Sunday night in Atlanta, Lowery was praised for his living legacy as he continues to fight against hunger, poverty, racism and injustice. He has lived to see an end to segregation and the rise of the nation's first black president, and says there is still work for him to do on issues of social justice and equality.

In a brief video tribute, Obama thanked Lowery for his friendship and counsel, saying, "I don't know where this country would be without your leadership."

Obama awarded Lowery the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010.

Lowery turned 90 on Thursday.