As a boy, Andrew Young spent many hours reading the Boy Scout Handbook. He was never able to join a Boy Scout Troop. However, he read his handbook almost as much as he read his bible. He memorized the oath and law, learned his knots and gleaned as much wisdom as he could from that quintessential book.
In the 1950s and 1960s Young was active in the Civil Rights Movement, working with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and activists including Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr. and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 1974, Young was elected as a US Congressman where he served on the Congressional Black Caucus, established the Chattahooche River National Recreation Area and began the initial fundraising for what is now the MARTA system.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Young the US Ambassador to the United Nations, where he served for two years. Shortly thereafter he was elected mayor of the city of Atlanta, serving for eight years. Throughout his life he has been a major voice on public policy, currently serving as a director of the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy.
Throughout his fifty-plus year career in civic, national and international politics Young has always remembered reading the Boy Scout Handbook. Years later, he can still recite the Scout Oath from memory, and its principles have served as a guide for his life and work every day.
Andrew Young was never able to join a Boy Scout Troop. However, he read his Boy Scout Handbook everyday. The ideals and principles he learned in it lead him to a long and storied career in politics and civil rights activism.