James Reeb
James Reeb

Celebrity Profile

Name: James Reeb
Occupation: Civil Rights Leader
Gender: Male
Birth Day: January 1, 1927
Death Date: Mar 11, 1965 (age 38)
Age: Aged 38
Country: United States
Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

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Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
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James Reeb

James Reeb was born on January 1, 1927 in United States (38 years old). James Reeb is a Civil Rights Leader, zodiac sign: Capricorn. Find out James Reebnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


He was violently beaten during a peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery by white segregationists and died two days later from severe damage to his cerebral tissue.

Does James Reeb Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, James Reeb died on Mar 11, 1965 (age 38).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

In 1959 he became an assistant minister at the All Souls Church in a poor black neighborhood. He felt he could make the most positive impact by encouraging members of that community to participate in social action.

Biography Timeline


Reeb was born on January 1, 1927, in Wichita, Kansas, to Mae (Fox) and Harry Reeb. He was raised in Kansas and Casper, Wyoming. He attended Natrona County High School and graduated in 1945, after which he joined the Army despite the fact that his commitment to the ministry made him exempt from service. After basic training, he was sent to Anchorage, Alaska as a clerk typist for the headquarters of Special Troops. He was honorably discharged eighteen months later in December 1946 as Technical Sergeant, Third Class. After his time in the Army, Reeb continued his schooling. Initially, he attended classes in his home town at Casper Junior College, before moving on to St. Olaf College, in 1947, where he received his A.B. cum laude in 1950. He then entered Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, where he earned his B.D. in 1953. Three days later, Reeb was ordained a Presbyterian minister at the First Presbyterian Church of Casper. After this he accepted a position at the Philadelphia General Hospital as Chaplain to Hospitals for the Philadelphia Presbyter. To become a more effective counselor, he went back to school, enrolling at Conwell School of Theology, where he earned an S.T.M. in Pastoral Counseling in 1955.


Reeb married Marie Deason on August 20, 1950; they had four children.


As a scholar of theology, Reeb grew away from traditionalist Presbyterian teachings and was drawn to the Unitarian Universalist church. In March 1957, he resigned his Presbyterian Chaplaincy and contacted the American Unitarian Association about transferring his fellowship from Presbyterian to Unitarian. Reeb appreciated the church's emphasis on social action, and he became active in the civil rights movement during the 1960s.


Beginning in his new ministry, Reeb encouraged parishioners to participate in the movement as well. With his wife and four children, he lived in poor black neighborhoods where he felt he could do the most good. He took a job that would allow him to work closely with Philadelphia's poor community as a youth director for the West Branch Y.M.C.A. between 1957 and 1959. While at the Y.M.C.A. he abolished the racial quota system and started an integrated busing program to transport youth to and from the location. When he was granted preliminary fellowship by the Unitarians, he accepted an offer to be assistant minister of All Souls Church in Washington D.C. After three years of active service at All Souls Church, Reeb was fully ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister in 1962. In 1964, he began as community relations director for the American Friends Service Committee's Boston Metropolitan Housing Program, focusing on desegregation. At the AFSC, Reeb and his staff advocated for the poor and pressed the city to enforce its housing code, protecting the rights of tenants of all races and backgrounds, particularly poor African and Hispanic Americans. The Reebs were one of the few white families living in Roxbury. James Reeb's daughter Anne recollected that her father "was adamant that you could not make a difference for African-Americans while living comfortable in a white community."


As a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Reeb went to Selma to join the Selma to Montgomery marches, a series of protests for African-American voting rights, following the attack by state troopers and sheriff's deputies on nonviolent demonstrators on March 7, 1965. After eating dinner at an integrated restaurant on March 9, Reeb and two other Unitarian ministers, Rev. Clark Olsen and Rev. Orloff Miller, were beaten by white men with clubs for their support of African-American rights. The black hospital in Selma did not have the facilities to treat him, and the white hospital refused. Two hours elapsed, and his condition deteriorated, before Reeb arrived at a Birmingham hospital — treatment was not available for him in much closer Montgomery — where doctors performed brain surgery. While Reeb was on his way to the hospital in Birmingham, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. addressed a press conference lamenting the "cowardly" attack and asking all to pray for his protection. Reeb went into a coma and died two days later from his injuries. His death resulted in a national outcry against the activities of white racists in the Deep South.

In April 1965, four men - Elmer Cook, William Stanley Hoggle, Namon O'Neal Hoggle, and R.B. Kelley - were indicted in Dallas County, Alabama for Reeb's murder; three were acquitted by an all-white jury that December. The fourth man fled to Mississippi and was not returned by the state authorities for trial. The Voting Rights Act was passed on August 6, 1965.


In July 2007, The Boston Globe reported that the FBI's Cold Case Initiative had reopened the investigation into the 46-year-old case. The renewed investigation was also reported by The Anniston Star and The Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Mississippi. However, in 2011 the case was closed again, and no charges were pursued. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the decision to close the case was made upon discovery that three of the four men believed to be responsible for the killing were deceased and that Namon Hoggle, the only surviving individual, was tried and acquitted of the crime in state court, which barred him from further prosecution. Namon Hoggle died five years later on August 31, 2016, at age 81.


Grace and Brantley interviewed William Portwood in 2017. At that time, Portwood had suffered from strokes and was experiencing memory lapses. However, he was able to remember having been there. "All I did was kick one of them" Portwood said.

William Portwood died shortly after his last interview with NPR on September 30, 2017.

Family Life

James married his lover Marie Reeb, with whom he had four children.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, James Reeb is 95 years, 10 months and 26 days old. James Reeb will celebrate 96th birthday on a Sunday 1st of January 2023. Below we countdown to James Reeb upcoming birthday.


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