In awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, Obama credited Doar with laying the groundwork for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
He recalled how Doar, with his hands raised, successfully pleaded with protesters following the 1963 funeral of civil rights leader Medgar Evers to go home peacefully rather than clash with heavily armed police officers.
"He was the face of the Justice Department in the South. He was proof that the federal government was listening," Obama said.
In the C-SPAN interview, Doar described the election of Obama as "rewarding" and marveled at the progress made toward racial equality since 1960.
"Countless black citizens in the South couldn't vote. They were second-class citizens from cradle to grave. The discrimination was terrible, brutal. And to think, you know, that's over. It's done," he said.