ATLANTA -- Over 1,200 of Andrew Young's closest friends celebrated his 80th birthday Sunday night.

The star-studded gala included everyone from Oprah Winfrey to Chris Tucker. Theyfilled the ballroom at the Hyatt Regencyto honor Young's many years of achievement as civil rights icon, United Nations ambassador, and former Atlanta mayor.

Mayor Kasim Reed recounted a special moment during his run for mayor. He said Young toldhim to pick up the phone anytime and call him when he was feeling stressed. Reed said it was a turning point in his campaign and of special importance coming from the man he considersa mentor.

Recently, Young sat down with 11Alive's DeMarco Morgan. He spoke of his childhood in New Orleans, where his loving parents prepared him forthe years he spent shoulder-to-shoulder with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Youngrememberedfeeling apprehensive about running forAtlanta's mayoral seat. He said he felt pushed into the race, but looking back now, he considers those years some of the best of his life.

Read or Share this story: