Ralph Abernathy is known for being one of martin Luther King's closest friends and successor as president of the SCLC after King's death. Abernathy helped King organize the Montgomery Bus Boycotts to answer the injustice of Rosa Parks' arrest for refusing to give her seat for a white passenger. The work Ralph Abernathy did with Martin Luther King is credited with helping get the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed.
After King's death in 1968, Abernathy continued to lobby for assistance for the country's poor. Abernathy kept speaking out about injustices against America's poor until his death in 1990 due to two blood clots that traveled to his heart and lungs.