James L. Farmer, Jr. (Jan. 12, 1920-Jul. 9, 1999) Civil rights leader James Leonard Farmer, Jr., son of Pearl (Houston) and Dr. James L. Farmer, Sr., lived here as a child from 1925-30. James, Sr. taught at Samuel Huston College (now Huston-Tillotson University). In 1942, James, Jr. founded the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which trained civil rights leaders in Ghandi-inspired nonviolent civil disobedience tactics to protest racial discrimination. Under Farmer's leadership, CORE organized the 1961 "Freedom Riders" to desegregate interstate transportation in the Deep South. Farmer was an Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Deparment of Health, Education, and Welfare (1969-1970). He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998. (2008) #15236