Former Ga. Sen. Ralph Abernathy III passes away

Ralph David Abernathy III , Courtesy WXIA

ATLANTA (AP) – Former state Sen. Ralph David Abernathy III, namesake son of the civil rights leader, has died. He was 56.

The family announced his death online Thursday. Local news outlets report that he was diagnosed with colon cancer five years ago and was hospitalized for several weeks last year after it spread to his liver.

Abernathy was the son of Ralph David Abernathy Jr., a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says Abernathy was known for his slogan: “If the elevator to success is broken, take the stairs.”

The family says funeral arrangements will be announced at a later date.

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