Lord Nickens, a long-time civil rights leader from Frederick, has died at age 99.

Nickens fought for fair housing rules and served as the president of the Frederick branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for more than 20 years.

"He fought for the right of African Americans to pursue the American Dream and helped ensure equality for all Americans," U.S. Senator Ben Cardin said in a statement. " … Lord Nickens was an inspiration for all who knew him; his advocacy on behalf of the African-American community helped to change our nation."

A street in Frederick was named for Nickens in 2009.

Nickens, who worked as a laboratory technician, said he experienced segregation upon moving to Maryland from Virginia as a child, and told of being kicked by a train conductor after he had wandered into a bathroom meant for whites only.

His widow, Thelma Nickens, told The Frederick News-Post that he died of pneumonia Friday night after a week in the hospital.

chris.korman@baltsun.com