This biography is a testament to one man's courage and resolve in the struggle for equality of opportunity. The Reverend Charles Kenzie Steele, despite threats from segregationists, harassment from law enforcement and economic reprisals, never wavered in his commitment to the cause of civil rights in Florida and the nation. Steele's contributions to the success of the Civil Rights Movement have, prior to this study, never been completely documented. C. K. Steele provided leadership in one of the most turbulent periods in American history. The Tallahassee bus boycott began in May, 1956, as a spontaneous student protest. Steele emerged as the leader of a city-wide protest involving most of the local African-American community. As president of the Tallahassee Inter-Civic Council, Steele conducted a successful desegregation campaign of the city transit system. The ICC also provided vital assistance to the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) led campaign against segregated public accommodations, housing and schools in Leon County. Because of Steele's influence, the two civil rights organizations conducted the campaign without serious discord. Steele's ability to inspire cooperation was an invaluable asset to the South's primary civil rights organization, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Steele was one of the founders of SCLC, and served as its first executive vice president from the organization's inception until his death in 1980. SCLC, led by the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., coordinated most of the civil rights activity in the nation. As a member of its governing body, Steele played an active leadership role in every major civil rights campaign in the South between 1956 and 1968. Steele's role in the Civil Rights Movement has been determined by careful examination of archival materials, his personal correspondence, and interviews with individuals who knew him personally. These materials provide a portrait of a Christian minister wholly dedicated to the cause of justice.