April 15, 2010
Dear Howard University Community:
We join the nation in mourning the passing of an esteemed son of Howard, renowned civil rights leader and public servant, Benjamin Lawson Hooks, who died today in Tennessee.
Benjamin Hooks began his distinguished career as a practicing attorney in Memphis. In 1956, he became a Baptist minister and continued preaching throughout his life. During the civil rights era, he worked closely with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the fight to gain equality for African Americans.
As the first African-American judge of record in the South since Reconstruction and later the first Black commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, he was outspoken. For 15 years, he led the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as executive director, increasing its membership, retiring its debt and solidifying its influence in the nation.
For his many stellar contributions and his commitment to social justice, Howard University in 1975, was pleased to award him the honorary doctorate in the humanities. Three decades later, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our nation’s highest civilian honor, in recognition of his years of extraordinary service.
As we celebrate his life and achievements, we offer our sincere condolences to his family. His legacy as a tireless champion for civil rights will endure through the lives he has touched.
Sidney A. Ribeau
|© Howard University, all rights reserved.
2400 Sixth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20059