The King Center has issued the following statement on the death of Mr. Jesse Hill, Jr., who served as Chairman of the King Center’s Board of Directors from 1979-93:

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Mr. Jesse Hill, Jr., who was a strong supporter of the King Center, as well as one of Atlanta’s most active and engaged civic and business leaders,” said Mr. Dexter Scott King, chairman of The King Center. “On behalf of the King Center, I extend my heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Hill and The Hill family. Mr. Hill’s numerous contributions to the growth and development of the King Center, as our Board chairman from 1979-93 and as a volunteer, were instrumental in all that we have been able to achieve over the years. His energetic example of dedication to the legacy of my father and mother remains an inspiration to us all.”

The King Center’s vice chair and treasurer, Mrs. Christine King Farris, added, “I join with thousands of Atlantans in mourning the death of my dear friend Mr. Jesse Hill, Jr. It would be hard to exaggerate his remarkable contributions to Atlanta and to The King Center.  He gave tirelessly of his time and talents to The King Center and to so many humanitarian causes, and his contributions have benefited countless thousands of our fellow citizens. Even in retirement, Mr. Hill continued to work closely with The King Center. His death leaves a great void in our hearts, and we send our love and support to his family.”

‘From an early age, I can remember Mr. Hill serving as a trusted friend and supporter of my mother, Coretta Scott King in her work to build The King Center and create a living memorial to the life and leadership of my father, Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said Bernice A. King, chief executive officer of The King Center. “It seems Mr. Hill was always there, to help solve problems and keep the King Center moving forward.  It is hard to imagine what Atlanta and the King Center would be like without his invaluable efforts. We will miss his energetic commitment and the positive spirit he brought to his many endeavors in service to our community. Our hearts and prayers go out to Mrs. Hill and the Hill family on the loss of a wonderful man and a great Atlanta leader.”

It is anticipated that The King Center’s Annual Salute to Greatness Dinner on January 19th  will include a tribute to Mr. Hill, who also served as co-chair of the dinner for many years.