Through the tough struggles of the civil rights movement, Julian Bond always kept his sense of humor, his wife recalls.

Pamela Horowitz told The Associated Press on Sunday that her husband "never took his eyes off the prize," which was always racial equality.

Bond died Saturday in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He was 75. Horowitz said she did not yet know the exact cause of death, but said her husband had circulatory problems.

Horowitz said her husband's demeanor helped him persist for so many years in his work to improve the lives of black Americans.

Bond's life traced the arc of the civil rights movement, from his efforts as a militant young man to start a student protest group, through a long career in politics and his leadership of the NAACP almost four decades later.