Charles Langford, 84, a former Alabama state senator who fought in key civil rights legal battles as a lawyer for Rosa Parks and the organization that launched the historic Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott, died Sunday in his sleep at his home in Montgomery, said his niece, Audrey Anderson.
Born Dec. 9, 1922, in Montgomery, Langford earned a bachelor's degree from Tennessee State University and a law degree from Catholic University in Washington. He passed the Alabama bar exam in 1953 and opened a law practice in Montgomery.
He soon became involved in legal battles that shaped Alabama, including representing Parks after she was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white man.
Her arrest inspired the Montgomery Improvement Assn., then led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., to launch the boycott and pursue litigation that led to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling ending segregation on public transportation.