Rev. Channing E. Phillips was a civil rights leader and the first black person to be placed in nomination for Presidency of the United States by a major political party.
Phillips was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 23, 1928, to a Baptist Minister. After moving to Washington, Phillips was a co-founder of the Coalition of Conscience. He worked along with a group to fight social problems in the city. He later headed Robert F. Kennedy’s Presidential campaign in the District of Columbia in 1968.
At the Democratic convention in Chicago, he allowed his name to be placed in nomination as a favorite-son candidate after the assassination of Senator Kennedy in Los Angeles earlier that year. Although Phillips only received 67 1/2 votes, he felt his candidacy was a way to show the world that the Negro voted should not be taken for granted.
He was the first African-American to receive votes for the presidential nomination at a Democratic National Convention. Although Frederick Douglass received votes for the presidency at the 1888 Republican National Convention, according to the official record, it does not appear that his name was actually put into nomination.
In 1971, Phillips ran against Walter E. Fauntroy to serve as the first congressional delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. However, he lost to Fauntroy and later moved back to New York. Phillips died in 1987, he was 57.